Guardian Unlimited: Education

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Latest education news, comment and analysis on schools, colleges, universities, further and higher education and teaching from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice
Actualizado: fai 7 horas 45 min

If risk is such a good thing, why is it all heaped on to the young and struggling? | Sonia Sodha

fai 12 horas 59 min
To forge a creative life, a measure of security and stability can be a tremendous boon

The Tories have got a youth problem and they’re going to fix it with peri-peri chicken. Not how they’d put it, but you hardly need to be a marketing whiz to work out that their latest big idea to tempt in new members – a Nando’s discount card – isn’t aimed at octogenarians in the home counties.

It comes hot on the tracks of the government’s new millennial railcard, which offers a third off rail fares, presumably to distract 26- to 30-year-olds from the fact they’ll never be able to afford a house.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Bring back joy to the classroom | Letters

fai 18 horas 54 min
A teacher from Canada finds British education in freefall. Her solution? Remove stress and reinstate the love of learning

What is going on with the British education system? Last week’s Observer had three articles that reveal the symptoms of a system in freefall: £50m for grammar schools (“This zombie grammar school policy will only harm crisis-hit schools”, Focus); corruption in academy trusts (“Academy trust in spotlight again over spending”, News); and the teacher shortage (“Burnout”, special report).

In the 15 years since I last lived and taught here, billions have been spent remaking education and this is where you have landed:

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the royal wedding cellist, and other young musicians on a life-changing day

Sáb, 19/05/2018 - 13:03

One overslept, one played in cowboy boots and one’s next gig is the royal wedding … five past winners of BBC Young Musician relive the thrill of the competition

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello, 2016 winner at 17

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Secret Teacher: I hated teaching – until I realised my school was the problem

Sáb, 19/05/2018 - 07:30

Stress almost drove me out of the profession. But a change in leadership has helped me fall back in love with education

Not so long ago, I was ready to quit teaching. Now, I’ve got my sights on leadership. The difference is my headteacher.

Under my previous head, I got the point where I couldn’t go on. I was signed off work with anxiety and stress. At school, we’d been under intense pressure to get more children to expected levels to show the school was improving – and were always on edge thanks to drop-in observations. As a member of the school leadership team, the headteacher expected me to remain distant from the rest of the staff, meaning I was isolated from my colleagues.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Sir Roger Elliott obituary

Ven, 18/05/2018 - 18:24
Specialist in theoretical physics who investigated the structure of matter

On Roger Elliott’s 60th birthday, a conference in his honour displayed beneath his photograph the title: “Disorder in Condensed Matter Physics”. This reference to his speciality in theoretical physics, where he made important contributions to theories of optical, magnetic and semiconductor properties of the solid state, was ironic, for Elliott, who has died aged 89, was a man of the soundest judgment.

His opinion was widely sought and highly regarded, as professor at Oxford University (1974-96), as chief executive of Oxford University Press (1988-93), and in national affairs, as physical secretary and vice-president of the Royal Society (1984-88) and vice-chairman of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (1990-93).

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Poorest and brightest girls more likely to be depressed – UK study

Ven, 18/05/2018 - 18:00

Research into 14-year-olds renews concern over rising rates of teenage mental illness

Brighter girls and girls from poorer families are more likely to be depressed by the time they enter adolescence, according to a study triggering fresh concern about soaring rates of teenage mental illness.

The government-funded research identified the two groups as being most at risk of displaying high symptoms of depression at the age of 14. In contrast, more intelligent boys and boys from the most deprived backgrounds appear not to suffer from the mental troubles that affect their female peers, the academics discovered.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Our children are over-stressed. This is how we can protect them | Gaby Hinsliff

Ven, 18/05/2018 - 17:10
Governments can do more; so can social media companies. We parents might stop projecting our anxieties too

Poor Twiglet the dog. Her short-lived career as a comfort animal for anxious Cambridge university students ended prematurely this week, after unprecedented demand to take her out for soothing walks left her feeling rather overanxious herself. At her peak, the jack russell was being booked out for eight hours a day, which says something about stress levels approaching finals.

Related: The new GCSE exams pile on pressure and kill off passion for learning | Keza MacDonald

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Home Office-sponsored survey on foreign students is withdrawn

Ven, 18/05/2018 - 12:49

Migration Advisory Committee poll circulated by universities open to abuse, say critics

A Home Office-sponsored survey that asked students how many of their friends at university were from overseas has been axed after criticism that it was flawed and open to abuse.

The survey by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), as part of its inquiry into the impact of international students, was circulated to students by British universities earlier this week. But the survey quickly drew criticism that it was vulnerable to manipulation, with any internet user able to access the survey and respond multiple times.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Universities need to give students support after intimate partner abuse

Ven, 18/05/2018 - 10:55

This form of harassment disproportionately affects young people. Educating them on the warning signs could save lives

Intimate partner abuse, or IPA, is highly damaging, extremely dangerous, and very common. It affects one in four women during their lives as well as many men and non-binary people. Every week in England and Wales, two women are murdered by their partners or ex-partners and three women commit suicide as a result of IPA. While it has received much-needed attention in England since the police made it a priority in 2015, universities are lagging behind.

The age group most commonly affected by IPA is 16-24, the group to which most students also belong. Cardiff University recently published figures showing 43 incidents of IPA since last October, and there have been several well-publicised cases among students in the last few years. Yet, even with the current shift towards abuse and harassment being taken more seriously, most universities are still not talking about IPA.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Have you been in a staff-student relationship at university?

Ven, 18/05/2018 - 10:55

The NUS is calling for stricter policies on the relationships that staff can have with students. What was your experience?

A third of universities have no policy on relationships between staff and students, according to a recent survey.

The National Union of Students and campaigners the 1752 group, which conducted the survey, are now calling for universities to introduce policies on appropriate teaching relationships that reflect the power imbalance between staff and students. These professional boundaries might emulate NHS rules, which prevent doctors from entering into romantic relationships with patients, the authors suggest.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

The new GCSE exams pile on pressure and kill off passion for learning | Keza MacDonald

Ven, 18/05/2018 - 10:22
The all-consuming new system is causing stress-induced illnesses and has little relevance outside of school

Reading teachers’ and students’ accounts of the immense stress and mental health issues caused by the introduction of the new GCSE exams this year is heartbreaking. “The new GCSEs have broken my best students, left some with serious stress-induced illnesses, and isolated the majority, leaving them completely apathetic towards their own learning,” said one teacher. A student reports: “I have seen the mentally toughest people crack and it’s painful to watch. People crying over being unable to do a maths question. Is this what we want as a nation, to be put under this mental stress?”

Exams are not exactly known for making teenagers happy, but the misery should at least lead to something useful at the end of it. GCSEs as they previously stood were so forgiving that their usefulness was often called into question – but instead of reforming them, former secretary of state for education Michael Gove decided to take them back to the days of the O-level. The new GCSEs emphasise tough, stressful end-of-year examinations over coursework and regular testing: teacher friends tell me that even in subjects where the content of the syllabus hasn’t changed enormously, the way that students are tested on it has become much more stressful.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Academia is built on exploitation. We must break this vicious circle | Anonymous academic

Ven, 18/05/2018 - 07:30

What did I find when I joined a university? Poor mental health, huge workloads, ego-driven professors and rampant plagiarism

Not for the first time, I watched as one of our PhD students was loaded into an ambulance and taken to hospital. He had collapsed in one of the university research labs about 20 minutes earlier.

A few hours later we received word from the hospital that the student was now alert and all tests were normal. Just as I had seen previously, the student had fainted as a result of stress, anxiety and fatigue.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Struggling with revision? Here's how to prepare for exams more efficiently

Xov, 17/05/2018 - 14:50

From excessive highlighting to cramming, it’s easy to get into bad revision habits. Here, experts point a better way forward

If you’re one to put hours into revising for an exam only to be disappointed with the results, then you may need to rethink your revision methods. You could be wasting time on inefficient techniques, says Bradley Busch, a registered psychologist and director of InnerDrive. “You get people putting in lots of effort, but not in a directed way,” he says. Here are some of the common ways students unwittingly waste study time, and what experts recommend you do instead.

Related: The revision diet: what's the best food and drink to help students focus?

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Deaf-specialist teachers are a lifeline – the state must not cut them | Josh Salisbury

Xov, 17/05/2018 - 14:13
As a deaf person I know the value of these teachers. If the government took education seriously it wouldn’t allow numbers to fall

How much is a child’s education worth? If they’re deaf, not even £4m it seems. Or at least that’s how much will be cut by English councils from their deaf educational support budgets this year, according to analysis by the National Deaf Children’s Society. It follows massive reductions that have already occurred in the number of specialist teachers employed by councils to support deaf children and their families. The charity estimates that one in 10 have been axed over the past four years.

I’m deaf in both ears. I wear hearing aids and rely heavily on lip-reading. I had a specialist teacher in my mainstream primary and secondary schools, and the support was crucial to me succeeding. The picture for deaf and hard-of-hearing children in education today is bleak. They fall behind their peers at every stage in school, and Department for Education statistics show around 60% don’t achieve government GCSE targets.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Stress and serious anxiety: how the new GCSE is affecting mental health

Xov, 17/05/2018 - 10:39

The GCSE is 30 – and it’s suddenly much tougher, causing extraordinary anxiety for teachers and pupils. So should it be scrapped?

On Monday morning, what may be the most dreaded and feared set of public exams England’s teenagers have ever sat began in school assembly halls up and down the country.

It is 30 years since GCSEs (General Certificate for Secondary Education) were first introduced under Margaret Thatcher, replacing O-levels and CSEs. The new exam was designed to cover a broad spectrum of ability rather than dividing pupils between high achievers, who sat O-levels, and lower-ability students, who took CSEs. Now, three decades later, following claims of grade inflation and dumbing down, GCSEs have been revised and re-formed and a brand new set of exams is being rolled out.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Stress and suicidal thoughts: how the new GCSE is affecting mental health

Xov, 17/05/2018 - 06:00

The GCSE is 30 – and it’s suddenly much tougher, causing extraordinary anxiety for teachers and pupils. So should it be scrapped?

On Monday morning, what may be the most dreaded and feared set of public exams England’s teenagers have ever sat began in school assembly halls up and down the country.

It is 30 years since GCSEs (General Certificate for Secondary Education) were first introduced under Margaret Thatcher, replacing O-levels and CSEs. The new exam was designed to cover a broad spectrum of ability rather than dividing pupils between high achievers, who sat O-levels, and lower-ability students, who took CSEs. Now, three decades later, following claims of grade inflation and dumbing down, GCSEs have been revised and re-formed and a brand new set of exams is being rolled out.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

In North Carolina, 20,000 skip school as teachers strike movement swells

Xov, 17/05/2018 - 03:21

Classes across the state were cancelled as teachers and their supporters protested low salaries and poorly funded schools

“It’s personal,” said the 48-year-old African American teacher Michelle Burton, a librarian in the Durham county school system, as she stood next to a marching band playing the Star Wars theme under a banner that said Education Strikes Back.

Burton was far from alone. She was one of some 20,000 teachers and their supporters who used personal days on Wednesday to call out of work, forcing 40 North Carolina school districts to cancel classes for more than 1 million students.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

A student volunteer's guide: five ways to save on the summer break

Mér, 16/05/2018 - 14:20

Five cheap and charitable ways to spend the summer holidays

Festivals and travel aren’t always an option for students who have to work during their summer break. But through volunteering, there are ways to get around ticket and accommodation costs:

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Take our Sats maths quiz to see if you're smarter than an 11-year-old

Mér, 16/05/2018 - 11:50

Key stage 2 pupils in England are taking crucial maths exams this week. Try our sample questions to see how you would fare

On Wednesday and Thursday year 6 children in England’s primary schools will take their Sats maths test.

If you haven’t had children in the English education system for a while, or even at all, you might be curious about what 11-year-olds are expected to know about maths. So below is a sample of the types of questions they will face.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Universities need to tackle racism head-on, not deny it exists | Shakira Martin

Mér, 16/05/2018 - 09:00
For too long, institutions have swept racist incidents under the carpet for fear of bad PR. Now black students are speaking out

• Shakira Martin is the president of the NUS

Racism is rarely seen as “our problem” in the UK – in contrast to, say, the US where laws, states and legislation were used to exclude African-Americans from public spaces. The very word and its connotations are unsettling. People would rather not talk about it. Nowhere is this more evident than in universities. Brochures, websites and the Department for Education would have you believe that our institutions are beacons of equality and diversity. And while some may appear to be on paper, the reality is very different. The past year alone has seen a string of cases involving black students faced with abuse and vile treatment at their universities. The media may be slowly waking up to the fact we have a race problem, but it has been a huge problem in educational environments for decades.

A product of widening participation has been that more than 40% of young people now go on to university. So if our institutions are the most diverse they have ever been why are black students having such a tough time? It’s not just physical, overt forms of racism that plight the lives of black students, a recent poll found that half of students have witnessed racism during their studies, the majority being verbal, offhand or “casually” racist comments.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade