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Organisation of the education system

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Introductory Task
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You are the survivors of a terrible world wide
disaster. There are several hundred people.
You need to pass on your knowledge to the next
generation and to each other so they can rebuild
the world.
You have a completely free rein to design an
effective education system for the survivors.
What would your system be like?
(in pairs, 10 minutes)
HOW IS THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
OF GREAT BRITAIN ORGANISED?
Understanding how British society plans and
organises the education of young people.
Sociological Targets
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You will understand that the education system is an
important institution in our society.
You will recognise that there are a number of forces
that affect the shape that the education system
takes in a society: political, ideological, economic
and traditional.
You will understand the form of the UK education
system and recognise some of the factors that have
shaped it.
Personal targets
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To undertake personal research into
the education system.
To work with others in the class on
discussion points during the lesson
To meet assessment deadlines
Websites to support your learning
www.dfes.gov.uk/
This is the website of the Department for Education and Skills. Lots of official data and
government information is available, as well as policy documents and links to other
official sties
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education
This is the BBC site and is of course, excellent for current stories and background
information.
http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/
Education-line is an academic site with research papers and links.
www.tes.co.uk
This is the teaching newspaper. You can see in the LRC, but the site is useful because
there are discussion forums and news articles about education in Britain. See what
teachers say to each when pupils are not about!
www.atss.org.uk
Use any of the sites recommended by the Association for the Teaching of Social
Sciences. They really are all very good.
The history of education
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The education system set up in 1945 consisted of
three different types of schooling: grammar schools,
secondary moderns and technical schools.
Although it was intended to be equal for all, it
favoured middle class children.
It was popular with many parents.
In parts of Britain, it was changed to comprehensive
schools in the 1970s.
Grammar Schools
Children all sat an examination known as the 11 +
and they were allocated a school based on how they
had achieved in that examination. Those seen as more
academic attended Grammar Schools which taught a
very academic curriculum and those seen as less able
went to Secondary Modern Schools which taught
practical subjects such as metal work and carpentry
for boys and needlework and cookery for girls. Only
children who attended Grammar Schools could sit
exams or go to college.
Thinking exercise
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What arguments are there in favour of
grammar schools and education based on
selection by ability?
What arguments are there against grammar
schools and education based on selection by
ability?
(in pairs, 4 minutes)
Comprehensive Schools
In 1965, a weak and unpopular Labour government
sent out a circular to all Education Authorities known
as 10/65. This told local education authorities, which
were run by local councils that they should prepare
for comprehensive schools. These would be single
schools taking children of all abilities regardless of
their success. In some areas, local education authorities
changed to this new system of educating all children
with some speed. In others, local education authorities
failed to submit workable plans, and in these areas,
there are still grammar schools.
Fit the term to the meaning
Every person has the same chance or opportunity.
Schools that teach traditional academic subjects.
Schools intended to teach children of all abilities.
An instruction telling education authorities to go
comprehensive
Comprehensive schools
Equality
Grammar Schools
Circular 10/65
Fit the term to the meaning
Every person has the same chance or opportunity.
Equality
Schools that teach traditional academic subjects.
Grammar Schools
Schools intended to teach children of all abilities.
Comprehensive schools
An instruction telling education authorities to go
comprehensive
Circular 10/65
Who are these two people?
Why are they significant in
the history of the British
education system?
Margaret Thatcher
Conservative Prime Minister
From 1979
Tony Blair
New Labour Prime Minister
From 1997
What happened in 1979?
1979 was a turning point in British society because a very
ideological Conservative government, led by Margaret Thatcher
took power. This government is identified with a set of beliefs
known as New Right. The New Right believes that no rules are
needed for society because economic factors (market forces) can
be relied upon.
This impacted on schools, because the New Right believed that
they could only improve if they were encouraged to be
competitive with each other for students. One of the ways that
they did this was by ensuring that local authorities schools were
given more control over their own money and also that they were
funded by the number of pupils that they taught.
Thinking exercise
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What are the features of New Right
thinking about human behaviour?
Should schools compete for the best
students?
(in pairs, 4 minutes)
Summary of key points
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The Labour party introduced Comprehensive Schools
to encourage equality for all children.
Conservative governments objected to comprehensive
schools.
Conservative governments believed in market forces
and competition between schools.
They have encouraged a variety of different schools
to develop.
The Labour Party under Tony Blair and more recent
education ministers has continued with this policy.
Individual Research
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Find out about one or more recent debates or
stories that have been in the news and which focus
on education. Summarise the key points
Use this website for a start
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7791461.stm
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What are your views on this debate/story?
(Approx 300 words suitable to be shared with class)
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