Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

OFQUAL Pronouncement


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 Mark H.

Mark H.

    Long-term Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 958 posts

Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:56 AM

Qualcast, er Ofqual has announced that History GCSE will be 'strengthened' from September 2013. Would anyone like to hazard a guess as to what this actually means? Linear exams and more marks for SPAG are already being introduced in September 2012 anyway. If I've read their very vague statement correctly, the implication appears to be that students will be required to study the whole Specification rather than optional topics. Do they really mean this? Even IGCSE and its new Certificate equivalents don't require this level of coverage. Surely this would mean that the boards would have to redesign their MWH and SHP Specs from scratch!
In memory of my boyhood hero Jim Clark (1936-1968): 'Chevalier Sans Peur et Sans Reproche'.

#2 David G

David G

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14 posts

Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:53 AM

I too was most unimpressed to see this on the news today. It seems that this had been prompted by the Telegraph’s investigation into a handful of rogue examiners offering a little too much information to teachers. If the implication is that we will need to teach the entire specification then I am very worried. What does this mean? Will, we, for example be expected to teach very topic on the MW syllabus for International Relations? At the moment, as the students only has to choose 3 topics out of 6, that is all we teach. All 6 would be virtually impossible. I have never tried to second guess what examiners might ask, at GCSE or A level and have always taught a comprehensive syllabus. I really resent yet another change that seems to be being imposed based on the flimsiest of reasoning.

#3 Nick

Nick

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 49 posts

Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:10 PM

In all honesty, as you indicate above, I can't see how they can enlarge the content, apart from the obvious - getting rid of coursework and having another exam paper, or making the current 1 3/4 hour papers into 2 1/2 hour papers. But have we enough teaching time to deliver a bigger content? Clearly not. I do think they will do this though.
I think we would also agree (from a biased perspective) that History is 'harder' than some other subjects and requires a very high level of literacy and a breadth of knowledge that some maybe don't require.
If you ask students they nearly always say that History is one of the hardest because there is so much to learn and then you have to apply your knowledge/skills to unseen questions, which are frequently long 8,10 or 12 mark answers, not short 2,3 or 4 mark multiple choice stuff that appears with regularity elsewhere.
Already less than 30% take History at GCSE. That will increase with the Eng Bacc of course, but if it becomes harder still then that will rightly dissuade others from doing it. Surely, it is hard enough.
Every pronouncement delivered from the lips of Gove and the new OFSTED bloke are depressingly negative with a teacher bashing agenda.
Luckily I don't have too many years to do!

#4 Ed Waller

Ed Waller

    Super Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,497 posts

Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:58 PM

History is difficult with skills and knowledge required throughout.

Suspect the way they will test coverage will result in more short questions: Describe the greatest achievement of the Thatcher government... Suggest reasons for the last Labour government making such a mess of the economy... etc.

They are heading towards asking "Why is it good to be an Alpha Baby?" The levels of response will determine future social planning.
A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. - Groucho Marx

#5 Paul M

Paul M

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 133 posts

Posted 24 February 2012 - 03:46 PM

OCR's response:

http://www.ocr.org.u...2/item_012.aspx

#6 Ed Podesta

Ed Podesta

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 499 posts

Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:48 PM

OCR's response:

http://www.ocr.org.u...2/item_012.aspx


In other words, carry on as you are. Those teachers not teaching the whole of a syllabus for a particular paper are already very very foolish (and few and far between I would suspect). Do you remember when OCR first published proposed spec for MW for the 2009 onwards version of GCSE? The spec suggested that teachers would have to teach two of the periods of which they currently teach one. At our school we teach International Relations 1919-1939, USA 1919-1939 and Britain 1890-1919. It looked for a couple of weeks as if OCR wanted us to teach International Relations 1919-39 and one of either the Cold War (1945-75) or A New World (1975-2005).

I seem to remember that there were many teachers pointing out how this would be very hard unless they cut down on the content in each topic and went for a more synoptic, overview approach. OCR pretty quickly confirmed that they only wanted students to study one of these periods.

I suspect one of two things will happen:

(1) not much will change, as OFQUAL will look at the existing specs for most history GCSEs (not all I suspect) and say 'that one's already challenging actually'
(2) they'll say we have to do two int. relations topics but cut down the content in each.

I might be wrong. It might be that the government is really determined to disenfranchise and de-motivate a generation of children from poorer backgrounds in order to reverse 25 years of gains from better teaching and to ensure that only the right sort of people are educated at 6th form and university.

UPDATE:

Just read the OCR announcement again - look carefully at the language

We have long argued for approaches that support breadth in learning and our close work with Higher Education has further convinced us of its importance




I think they'll go for (2) if they're pushed.

Edited by Ed Podesta, 24 February 2012 - 05:00 PM.

"In the past, philosophers have sought only to understand the world. The point is also to change it." - K. Marx
"Classification is exceedingly tedious" - I. Berlin

 

ModernWorldGcseHistory.1.gif

 

OneDamnThing.1.gif

 

Podestaorguk.1.gif

 


#7 CD McKie

CD McKie

    Long-term Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 513 posts

Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:11 PM

Just get rid of the Controlled Assessment and lengthen the examinations (or introduce a third paper). Problem solved.
To you who call yourselves men of peace, I say: You are not safe unless you have men of action on your side.

#8 Neil DeMarco

Neil DeMarco

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 460 posts

Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:58 PM

If the changes result in the end of the fatuous, bureaucratic, time-consuming nightmare of controlled assessment, then fine. Even if it does mean another written exam - not that it will affect me but I like to look out for your welfare... :teacher:
"Lesson planning is best undertaken when walking from the staffroom to the classroom. More detailed planning, by walking more slowly."

#9 Ed Podesta

Ed Podesta

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 499 posts

Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:26 PM

If the changes result in the end of the fatuous, bureaucratic, time-consuming nightmare of controlled assessment, then fine. Even if it does mean another written exam - not that it will affect me but I like to look out for your welfare... :teacher:


I don't really mind controlled assessment - it's not (so far) been that much of a pain for us. It was a bit of a pain setting it up, but two years in it seems to be OK.

"In the past, philosophers have sought only to understand the world. The point is also to change it." - K. Marx
"Classification is exceedingly tedious" - I. Berlin

 

ModernWorldGcseHistory.1.gif

 

OneDamnThing.1.gif

 

Podestaorguk.1.gif

 


#10 neil mcdonald

neil mcdonald

    Neil McDonald

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,595 posts

Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:47 PM

Just get rid of the Controlled Assessment and lengthen the examinations (or introduce a third paper). Problem solved.


Pity those with Edexcel - Three papers and CA... Nightmare

One thing that did surprise me is this...

1) I do SHP - the assessment is basically three papers and CA. The skills are about 35% knowledge, 30 analysis and 35% source work

2) If I did the IGCSE with edexcel it is 1 exam (2.5 hrs) no CA and the skills are 70% knowledge, 22% analysis and 8% sourcework

Beginning to wonder if IGCSE is really that much of a challenge!
Bernard Woolley: Have the countries in alphabetical order? Oh no, we can't do that, we'd put Iraq next to Iran.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bernard Woolley: That's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I give confidential security briefings. You leak. He has been charged under section 2a of the Official Secrets Act.

#11 CD McKie

CD McKie

    Long-term Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 513 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:22 AM


Just get rid of the Controlled Assessment and lengthen the examinations (or introduce a third paper). Problem solved.


Pity those with Edexcel - Three papers and CA... Nightmare

One thing that did surprise me is this...

1) I do SHP - the assessment is basically three papers and CA. The skills are about 35% knowledge, 30 analysis and 35% source work

2) If I did the IGCSE with edexcel it is 1 exam (2.5 hrs) no CA and the skills are 70% knowledge, 22% analysis and 8% sourcework

Beginning to wonder if IGCSE is really that much of a challenge!

I've had a look at the IGCSE offerings, and the Edexcel specification looks very straightforward. I think they've just moved to 2 x 1.5 hour papers, but the principle of what you say still stands. The AQA Level 1/2 specification is very similar to the current AQA Modern World course. This idea that IGCSE is somehow too difficult obviously stems from the Cambridge specification, which looks inaccessible for many.

Edited by CD McKie, 25 February 2012 - 08:23 AM.

To you who call yourselves men of peace, I say: You are not safe unless you have men of action on your side.

#12 CD McKie

CD McKie

    Long-term Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 513 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:31 AM


If the changes result in the end of the fatuous, bureaucratic, time-consuming nightmare of controlled assessment, then fine. Even if it does mean another written exam - not that it will affect me but I like to look out for your welfare... :teacher:


I don't really mind controlled assessment - it's not (so far) been that much of a pain for us. It was a bit of a pain setting it up, but two years in it seems to be OK.

We had a better experience this year, partly due to the fact that we had very few absences. Last year we had a flu epidemic that swept through half the Year 11 cohort which created a logistical nightmare. However, I still think the Controlled Assessment takes up far too much curriculum time and the opportunities for sharp practice are still there just as they were under the old coursework.
To you who call yourselves men of peace, I say: You are not safe unless you have men of action on your side.

#13 Ed Podesta

Ed Podesta

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 499 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 09:36 AM

We had a better experience this year, partly due to the fact that we had very few absences. Last year we had a flu epidemic that swept through half the Year 11 cohort which created a logistical nightmare. However, I still think the Controlled Assessment takes up far too much curriculum time and the opportunities for sharp practice are still there just as they were under the old coursework.


Oh, that must have been hideous. We've been running afterschool controlled conditions catch up for those who have been off and that is a pain in the posterior.

I think that if people are determined to cheat they will. I've found it quite a relief to be able to say - "I've taught the course, there's the question, you have the sources... off you go".



"In the past, philosophers have sought only to understand the world. The point is also to change it." - K. Marx
"Classification is exceedingly tedious" - I. Berlin

 

ModernWorldGcseHistory.1.gif

 

OneDamnThing.1.gif

 

Podestaorguk.1.gif

 


#14 Nick

Nick

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 49 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:51 AM

I dislike controlled assessments and agree, to an extent, that it is still possible to push the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is unacceptable guidance, although not to the same degree as happened formerly with coursework.
It involves a great deal of extra work. We have to find the information and pick the materials to match the question set (AQA). There is no word limit, only a recommended amount. There is no time limit.
In our school we have to do it in lessons, and are given no time off for everyone to do the tests at the same time, say in the hall. This necessarily means starting the 'exam' on a Tuesday, collecting it in, then handing it back, say on Friday afternoon, and then finishing off the following Monday. It is not ideal. And as we all know any absences necessitates 'catching up sessions' in the lunch-hour or after school. Several of them. Some students are writing a book.
All this at the same time as we are trying desperately hard to complete the AS and A2 courses, complete A2 coursework and cram in as much as we can into these last few crucial weeks. I'm sure I've missed out a few other jobs too!!
I will not shed a tear when it goes. It was rushed in and isn't fit for purpose.

What Gove will do is to get rid of this and lengthen the two exam papers. He will tinker with the questions and probably make it compulsory to answer questions from across the whole spec. That means cramming in more facts and, if you are a student, necessarily having to learn a lot more information to guarantee being able to answer the requisite number of questions. I also think we will see more essays and less source work. In fact, why not go the whole hog and just re-hash the old O Level papers?!

#15 Mark H.

Mark H.

    Long-term Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 958 posts

Posted 26 February 2012 - 08:50 AM

Depending on what the 'stengthening' actually entails (and I tend to agree with Nick's suggestion) this could conceivably mean that after 2013 the Ofqual approved Certificate versions of IGCSE might be perceived as 'more accessible' than GCSE!

Edited by Mark H., 26 February 2012 - 08:51 AM.

In memory of my boyhood hero Jim Clark (1936-1968): 'Chevalier Sans Peur et Sans Reproche'.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users