Link

Children going back to school will be learning with a new curriculum that according to the Prime Minister is “rigorous, engaging and tough” (see BBC report) But I m worried, after looking at some of the components,whether it is more likely to put children off learning than it is to engage them. It may also be a contributory factor in growing numbers of parents deciding to abandon schools and home educate. For the curriculum has become so prescriptive that parents feel it destroys the children’s innate curiosity and desire to learn. As an example take Year 4 children, aged 8 9, learning English. What they need is to be able to use our language to communicate well so they can build relationships with others, express themselves, speak, write and read effectively. But learning to label parts of the language as ‘determiner’, ‘possessive pronoun’ or ‘adverbial’ (as per the new curriculum), is not going enhance that process at all. Do you understand what those are? And is k

Link

What student does not dread exams? To quote that famous educationalist (err, maybe not) Eminem His palms are sweaty, knees weak , and that certainly sums up how I feel about exams. As somebody still stuck in the education system, enduring important exams every summer, and taking time to enjoy what s left of my long summer holiday before starting Uni, my mind has turned to exams, and whether they are really that important, let alone really necessary? And toy with the almost heretical idea that exams be abolished altogether. Who knows, maybe someone may even listen now that everybody s friend Michael Gove has left education for pastures new. The point of exams is to monitor a students process, but has this gone to far? Schools, in some ways have become exam result factories, teaching students just how to pass the exams. The aim of the game is memorise, retain, and regurgitate information, so surely this is just a test of your short-term memory rather than your understanding? Is thi

Link

Teaching can be tough, particularly when you have an unruly class to work with. Every child comes from a uniquely different background. Getting children to conform with classroom behaviour norms can be challenging, if their patterns are already firmly entrenched, and where they have issues such as respecting limits and personal space, or responding to conflict. It is therefore vital that teachers establish healthy patterns in the classroom, making it clear that what is tolerated at home or in social settings, will not necessarily be mirrored within the school. These are just a few habits of teachers who know how to effectively improve student behaviour in class: Greet each and every student at the door: Personal interaction is vital, as is setting a positive atmosphere in the classroom from the word go. Greet each student with a personal comment or positive wish for the day, so they feel acknowledged and cared for. Set rules and regulations early in the school year: Ask students t

Link

Tutoring these days is a whole different ball game than just five years back. The advent of e-learning tools and platforms sets out to make tutoring a much more practical experience, since one tutor can guide pupils who live at a distance, or monitor a group of students, from the comfort of home. In many ways, however, being an online tutor poses a whole new set of challenges – mainly in the areas of keeping students motivated and ensuring they are consistent and disciplined enough to complete set tasks, despite not having to see their tutor in person. We have prepared the following tips on how to become an effective online tutor. Let students know how much you can help them out A good online tutor will: respond to doubts and queries within a reasonable period of time (let your students know how quickly you will be responding from the outset), set interesting assignments, guide them through difficult areas and give feedback on work submitted. Be available Identify what the student

Link

We may be slowly recovering from the economic crisis but there could be another one looming as many businesses are finding it hard to recruit youngsters with the right sort of education and skills they need. Recent findings from the Prince’s Trust, (see the BBC s report), suggests that this gap in skilled young people could seriously hamper the UK s economic growth. The problem was outlined by Martina Milburn of the Trust; It is deeply concerning that employers are struggling to fill vacancies when we have hundreds of thousands of unemployed young people desperate for work. The current economic recovery is encouraging, but in order to sustain this growth, the UK needs to invest in the next generation to avoid a skills vacuum. Perhaps it’s time to change our educational system from being so academic based to one that gives youngsters opportunities to learn these skills, rather than trying to make them all into graduates as if that was the only worthy goal. As it’s not only gradu

Link

There s always time to turn it round, I was told. I received a pretty rough set of AS Level results in August 2010.  I was fishing in Scotland when I got the news safe to say making that phone call made me think about anything but the reel.  Don t think I caught anything larger after a minnow afterwards. I took Maths, Physics, Chemistry and French at AS and had managed nothing better than CDEE in those four.  Telling your parents that you felt confident and then getting this rather crushing piece of news was rather sobering to say the least.  I mean, how on earth did I actually fail that summer chemistry paper?  To this day I m still confused. One year later, I got my results in IT, Maths and French   I d pulled ACC out of the bag for A2.  Combine that with the DE from the sciences I dropped out of and I had accumulated enough points to see me off to university. I make no bones about this fact: my first year was really a bit of a waste. I did the bare minimum, focused too much

Link

Following the creation of The Tutors Association, we have become keen advocates of this organisation which aims to promote tutoring as an industry and introduce standards for those businesses operating within it. Under the energetic leadership of Tom Maher, they are in the process of setting out what they stand for and what they want to achieve. Whilst still embryonic they are seeing good growth in both corporate and independent tutor membership numbers. Tutorhub stands at the vanguard of a new and rapidly growing segment of the tutoring market online tutoring, and we have been working with other UK based online tutoring businesses to create a Code of Practice for businesses operating in the online market. Its objective is to set out business practice in the way these businesses operate with customers and students. Under the auspices of The Tutors Association there are plans to conduct a survey into how the online tutoring market is evolving. Surveys like this are great at improving

Link

Recently I posted about the fact that some graduates are finding themselves either in further study or jobs that wouldn t normally been considered as graduate jobs.  The worry I ve got is that some students are missing out, to be honest. Some students perhaps feel like they don t have the practical, professional experience that they need or even that their degree is undervalued by prospective employers so much so that they feel that the only way forward is to either take a job that doesn t require what they ve achieved at university or simply to study more to actually add some value to their CV. Do employers set too higher standards?  Are degrees worthless or do universities not prepare you well enough?  Whatever the reason, it seems to have an impact on what students do so much so that nearly 14% of students find themselves in the Retail, Catering, Waiting and Bar Staff working category perhaps not what they were expecting from their degree.  13% of them don t even go down the jo

Link

The way we educate ourselves is evolving. Traditional chalk and talk teaching methods are beginning to be supplemented by new ways of teaching, enabled by new technology. Interesting times! You may hear people talking about methods such as Cognitive Learning (CL). The purpose of this blog post is to explain the concept to you, how it links to the Flipped Classroom , why it works and the form it may take in the future. What is cognitive learning? CL involves using adaptive computer systems to encourage students to solve real-life problems, instead of simply learning the theoretical aspects of subjects like mathematics. It isn’t all just about learning from computers, though; CL uses artificial intelligence systems to personalise learning, identifying weak spots in students’ knowledge, matching activities with their interests and linking theory to practical aspects of their daily lives. The leader in the field of CL is Carnegie Learning Inc., an organisation founded in 1998 whic

Link

Tutorhub has been a member of The Tutors Association for a while now, and have been talking with other UK based online tutoring businesses, to help deliver a Code of Conduct for businesses operating in the industry and start a new online tutoring working group for the benefit of independent members. I was pleased to be asked by The Tutors Association to talk to BBC Radio Bristol s John Darvill this morning, about the changes in Government education policy at their effect on the tutoring industry. In a whistle stop tour of the tutoring industry, John Darvill focused on why the industry is growing, reasons why parents turn to tutoring and my opinions of the impact of Michael Gove s reforms. End to end, the interview took four and half minutes, if you would like to listen to the entire interview just click on the bar below. I hope that you find it interesting. http://blog.tutorhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Mac-Audio_recording-1.mp3