mole125
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Re: abbreviations

Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:14 pm

Good explanation, though you forgot to mention the fact that this is only for England and Wales, Scotland has a completely different secondary education scheme with it's own set of exams.  Not sure who Northern Island and the channel Islands follow.

Phil Spiegel
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Re: abbreviations

Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:41 pm

I did write :(differing exams applied in Scotland)….

but yes, I ommitted Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and other exceptions

O-level grades were originally ABCDE with FGH as fails but considered too fine a distinction at O level - hence ACE in my area .... differing regional examining boards varied and some used numbers, I think.

AO were for Lower-Sixth - in between O and A and a means of showing progress after 1 year.

'In my day' the exams tested part of the syllabus - all of which was expected to be taught - but not all parts could be in the paper each year: 'Past Papers' were published for practice use (then photocopied!). Now the boards seem to tell the teachers the questions and answers, according to press coverage - and only those parts are then taught. - saves time for all the form filling that politicians now require.

'Nuffield Science (from another educational foundation) encouraged thinking - and their text books asked questions but omitted answers - no longer a reference book (at least in Physics, which I taught)   It included exam questions like " You were taught about [a type of telescope] ... this is a different type - explain how it works: think how parent's would complain about that today! (the pupils complained then)

We did Food Science in Nuffield A-level Chemistry (when I was a pupil)  - and brought in fresh apples for each lesson ... it broke their budget but we ate a lot of apples! It wasn't done that way then next year 8-(

I left school teaching about 30 years ago (it probably shows) and went into industrial (broadcast) product training: no marking! but constant assessment of the teacher.

Joe Schmoe
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Re: abbreviations

Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:10 pm

Jim, it seems pretty clear to me that you would have answered the above question (from Mark Twain) as "Five".  And you'd defend to the death your being right in saying so.
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)

Lynbarn
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Re: abbreviations

Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:18 pm

Jim Manley said:


Yeah, all those TLAs can get confusing (TLA is a long-standing military acronym for ... wait for it ... "Three Letter Acronym"! ).



There is also the ETLA (Extended Three Letter Acronym (a.k.a. Four Letter Acronym, or FLA)) and also the DETLA (Double-Extended Three letter Acronym (a.k.a. Five Letter Acronym, or - er - FLA)) Hmmm, I can see that could sort of get confusing...

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Jim Manley
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Re: abbreviations

Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:45 pm

Joe Schmoe said:
Jim, it seems pretty clear to me that you would have answered the above question (from Mark Twain) as "Five".  And you"d defend to the death your being right in saying so.


I love and respect both dogs and Samuel Clemens (he would appreciate the distinction ) far too much to ever call a tail a leg (not to be too crude, but, there"s a huge difference between getting tail and leg ... uh-oh, here comes Liz! Everybody hide! ).

As a former military guy, I find it fingernails-on-the-chalkboard irritating when movie/TV actors pronounce ASAP as "ay ess ay pee" (i.e., spelling it out), rather than the actual pronunciation (beginning in the military), "Ay-sap", and I get a similar feeling when people say things like acronyms have to be pronounceable. However, I have happily defended, at the risk of death, our right to express our respective differences, and wouldn"t hesitate to do it again. Sadly, most people today feel no obligation to contribute to society, which is really why we"re all here, to help right the sinking (hard aground?) ship of education.

At the risk of inciting an international incident, "vive la différence" (yes, even the French do some things right ).
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- W.B. Yeats
In theory, theory & practice are the same - in practice, they aren't!!!

mole125
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Re: abbreviations

Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:07 pm

Phil Spiegel said:


I did write :(differing exams applied in Scotland)….

but yes, I ommitted Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and other exceptions


I appologise I didn't notice that bit:( - must learn to read more carefully. I agree with all you wrote though. The problem, is judging from the many of the posts on the board, is that there is a lack of reading comprehension skills when the information is clearly available, being able to apply and extend information to a new type of thing may now be a step too far...

secretreeve
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Re: abbreviations

Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:12 pm

um......what the hell did i start here?!

this isnt quite the set of replies i imagined when posting this thread.

a good read and educational none the less.....

....i think.....

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johnbeetem
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Re: abbreviations

Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:25 pm

secretreeve said:


um......what the hell did i start here?!

this isnt quite the set of replies i imagined when posting this thread.
My conclusion is that people around here love acronyms -- whether pronounceable or not -- and want to share that love with newbies.  I'm sure that before long new Razzers will be baffling and amazing their friends with RTS, NAK, EIEIO, and all sorts of wonderful pseudo-words.  And we didn't even start on Unix commands!  They'll also toss around awk, grep, lex, sed, stty (giggle), and tr with the best of us!

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Jim Manley
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Re: abbreviations

Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:30 pm

Phil,

Thanks very much for the dissertations (plural, at the Piled higher and Deeper level, no less!) on the education gobbledygook. I had already Googled some of the acronyms and terms, but, found a confusing, fragmented story (just for England!) and you filled in a lot of the puzzling detail. Monty Python makes even more sense, now!

Europeans have no doubt heard some U.S. comments about how we don"t want to replicate the mistakes made East of the mid-Atlantic Ridge, and if this isn"t a prime example of why, then I don"t what is. After the end of WW-II, a Nazi general was asked why he thought they had lost after the U.S. joined with the Allies to ensure victory, and he said, "Americans never remember anything about history, but, we Europeans never forget.", I.e., we don"t carry the same baggage (though we have made our own regrettable choices in luggage over the years). However, he also said, "War is chaos, and if there"s one thing that Americans excel at, it"s chaos." Our current political morass is sufficient evidence of that, and the media/entertainment factors serve as exponents.
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- W.B. Yeats
In theory, theory & practice are the same - in practice, they aren't!!!

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jojopi
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Re: abbreviations

Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:05 pm

Phil Spiegel said:

so Labour renamed Polytechnics as Universities (politicians like redefining language - the latest being marriage)... and then everyone could go to 'University'.. but, strangely enough, more money was needed for grants, so these have become loans to be paid back if you stay in the UK and manage to earn money... thus creating more state-debtors to add to mortgages and credit card debtors..
The Further and Higher Education Act 1992, which allowed polytechnics to become universities, was passed deep in Conservative rule, and the conversion was complete well before Labour won the general election in 1997.

Student loans also already existed.  But the concept of tuition fees paid out of loans was indeed a Labour invention.

(I am still a bit surprised that the original introduction of tuition fees produced less protest than the recent increase in tuition fees.)

Phil Spiegel
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Re: abbreviations

Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:14 pm

I knew I should have kept it to more apolitical 'politicians' ... a time slip of memory 8-(

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