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geoff_k

Stumped for an answer

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According to the front of todays Times, this is a typical multi-choice science question in a school exam:

Q: Chei and Jas visit an observatory with their class, the astronomers who work there show them some instruments they use to find out about many different types of stars

Many people observe the stars using:

A a telescope

B a microscope

C an X-ray tube

D a synthesiser

Struggling with this one :wink:

Personally having been involved with GCSE and SAT exams for several years, I have never seen any questions as dumb as that.

The full article is here:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/education/article2344054.ece

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I can't believe they impose these kind of terrible questions on innocent school-children. It's a trick question and the answer's obviously "eyes".

Andrew

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The correct answer, in the broadest terms, should be......ALL OF THE ABOVE!

A. Used to obtain an image

B. For close examination of image.

C. As in X-ray astronomy

D. As in combining several images into one. (musical version optional)

CW

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Geoff, If it was not so serious, it would be a side splitting joke.

I could be opening a can of worms here, but I am of the opinion that the education in our country is on the whole pretty poor, or at least the results of it are glaringly obvious to me.

For example, the English language is dying a slow death. I get so damned annoyed when I here not only youngster, but older teens, young adults, older mature people, and lots in in quite high profile jobs in the workplace, dispensing with the proper pronunciation of specific words. Now if a word starts with a TH, It becomes an F or a V. as in THINK fink, WITH wiv. And so on.

Most of these could and should have been corrected by parents as their children were coming up to learning school age. Unfortunately, most had neither the time or the inclination to deal with it.

Also, I would venture to say, the mental arithmetic capabilities of vast numbers of people are non existent. Too easy to use a calculator it is said. Well I don't subscribe to that. If the brain is not tested, then it is simply not going to develop as it is supposed to.

What I see mostly today, is zombies walking about with either a mobile stuck in their ear, or thumbing a meaningless text message to some other drongo, also wandering aimlessly about.

Now, I know I am blanketing here, so I have to say I am tarring everone with the same brush. Just an awful lot of them.

There, I've had my gripe.

Ron.

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Ron.....take the shame tho! Take the shame.....innit!

Is you an Hastometer, tho, or what! :wink:

By the way, the above language is not Welsh.

JV

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Hi Ron (and others),

As a secondary school teacher I have to say that in many ways I agree with you when you say that education in our country is poor. What we are good at is coaching our students how to pass examinations. We a judged on how many students can pass an exam and the pressure to do this is enormous. Teaching students mental arithmetic, pronunciation etc gets us no benefit because these skills are not required in final examinations. I have found myself many times stopping students for investigating concepts and issues that are interesting and useful because they are not on the syllabus, and will therefore not help the students pass, and will therefore not help my pass rate. This is horrible and I despise it but this is what we are forced into. I say again, teachers no longer teach, they coach how to pass exams. We rarely provide life skills that are required in the 'real world' because unfortunately that is no longer our job. I have only been a teacher for five years and because of this situation I am now considering alternative careers. I consider myself to be quite good at my job but frankly hate what we are forced into.

That is my rant, sorry about that.

Chris

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I could be opening a can of worms here,

And very descriptive and interesting worms they are too.

(Sory Ron for starting a sentance wiv a conjunction...wat ever! It's cos like i wer deprived in my youf like..know wat i meen, man?)

C yer laytur

CW

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I wonder sometimes though... How much did I REALLY learn at (60-70s) school - Beyond how to pass exams? Whatever, this seems to be has been going on for a LONG time now. I'm sure my DAD knew a heck of a lot more than I did. But general "Nouse" (nowse?) does seem to be on the decline. Is this not passed from parent to children - I know, "blame the parents", but (as a non-parent though) I honestly no longer know. It saddens me there seems to be such an acceptance, celebration of "stupidity" in society. I think that's more worrying than the basics fact that there will always be greater/lesser "scholars" around.

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I wonder sometimes though... How much did I REALLY learn at (60-70s) school - Beyond how to pass exams? Whatever, this seems to be has been going on for a LONG time now. I'm sure my DAD knew a heck of a lot more than I did. But general "Nouse" (nowse?) does seem to be on the decline. Is this not passed from parent to children - I know, "blame the parents", but (as a non-parent though) I honestly no longer know. It saddens me there seems to be such an acceptance, celebration of "stupidity" in society. I think that's more worrying than the basics fact that there will always be greater/lesser "scholars" around.

It's 'nous' and I presume you mean reasoning skills. Clearly, both knowledge and critical thinking are not being taught in schools. This is why we have so many people believing uncritically in astrology, crystals, magnets for curing arthritis, glucosamine, Vitamin C, scientology, dowsing, and a 6000 year old Earth.

Many teachers are not particularly capable of reasoning, nor do they have a lot of knowledge. This leads to them passing on the kind of false-democratic notion that one person's opinion is as valid as another's, and the person who wins the argument is not the one with the most evidence or the most logically constructed sequence of facts, but the one who shouts the loudest, and has the best sound bites.

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Take a look at the link to the exam paper posted by Geoff!!

Question 5 made me cringe - this is GCSE Physics not folklore. These are 16 year olds!!!! I would have expected this level of questions at primary school (<10 years old)!!!

I have to ask - is it a joke??? Is it April 1st? Has the Times made this up. Sadly I think not.

All the best

Bill£ :wink:

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Chris

You certainly don't owe me any apology. You have my utmost sympathy.

I wouldn't be a teacher in this country for any amount of pay. I am a Patriot, and I love my country dearly.

I had a decent education, not brilliant, but adequate, I served in the army, and I have had some very good jobs.

But, when I see what is happening these days, it makes me sick to my stomach.

I have to stop there, because I get very emotional over certain things.

Ron.

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I could be opening a can of worms here,

And very descriptive and interesting worms they are too.

(Sory Ron for starting a sentance wiv a conjunction...wat ever! It's cos like i wer deprived in my youf like..know wat i meen, man?)

C yer laytur

CW

No worries C Dubya. I'm havin a ard time placin you in da Caribbean, or is it Stepney mite.

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Question 5 made me cringe - this is GCSE Physics not folklore.

Bill£ :wink:

I'm a believer in humor as an aid to learning but yes that is 'over doing it' bearing in mind the age group involved.

CW

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TBH it thought question 5 was one of the better ones. They way it was worded was purile but at least it required scientific thinking to answer it, unlike most of the others. :wink:

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If you read the above posts you can see why I decided to leave my job as Head of Science at a technology college and take early retirement. Yet another change in the science GCSE syllabus ( for no good reason ) was the final straw. I loved teaching when I started but hated it just before I left.

John

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I was inthe first year of my school to sit the computing standard grade exam (Shows how old I am now!). Anyway one of the questions was 'Johnny wants to write his english essay on the computer. What does he use? 1.Word Processor 2.Spreadsheet 3.Graphics Package'

To this day I still dont know if I got it correct or not :wink:

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I was inthe first year of my school to sit the computing standard grade exam (Shows how old I am now!). Anyway one of the questions was 'Johnny wants to write his english essay on the computer. What does he use? 1.Word Processor 2.Spreadsheet 3.Graphics Package'

To this day I still dont know if I got it correct or not :wink:

When I sat the exam for my Certified Banyan Specialist (Netword OS) qualification, I passed with very high marks, in a very short time. I had trouble with one of the questions, though, which was to identify a piece of equipment from a photo. When I left the exam, the receptionist had one of these things on her desk, so I asked her what it was. "Oh, it's a computer!" she said. I did OK on the other questions, though. :insects1:

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Mind you, if you really want to plumb the depths, take a look at this clip.

Miss Teen South Carolina (bless!) is asked why she thinks many Americans can't find their own country on a map.

She was simply taking a global view of the question. I mean, she knew all about South Africa.........didn't she?

CW

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Mind you, if you really want to plumb the depths, take a look at this clip.

Miss Teen South Carolina (bless!) is asked why she thinks many Americans can't find their own country on a map.

http://www.glumbert.com/media/missteensc

Future homemakers of America, we salute you.

Sounds like an answer George Dubya would give. Word for Word too.

:wink:

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