There’s an interesting story on the BBC News website: Teaching ‘better at school than university’ — survey
When asked to compare teaching at school and university, less than one-in-five privately educated pupils favoured their university tutoring. Almost two-thirds declared that the teaching they had at school had been better.
The results are not a surprise. I took A-levels (pre-university exams) twice. The first time I was taught maths, chemistry and physics and I learned about chemistry and physics.
The second time was a few years later for Economics and Law evening classes. Here I was taught what I needed to know to pass the exams. In the case of Law, there were always four questions in Paper II, Homicide, Tort, Contract and Constitutional law. You needed to answer two of four, so the evening class only covered Homicide and Tort. I do not have a rounded legal education, but the college was not graded on my education it was graded on the results I got. Behind trained for the exam was a huge success and I scored more UCAS points on my one year evening class courses than in my two year standard courses.
Every year for over twenty years the number and quality of A-level passes has gone up. The arguments are usually over whether or not the exams are getting easier, or the pupils better. What is less often noted is that schools are graded and compared against their neighbours on their pass rate. Unsurprisingly they’ve become more and more ruthless about train pupils to pass an exam because that’s what matters, not whether or not they understand why they’re doing what they’re doing.