Mike the Psych's Blog

What if psychologists ruled the world? In real life?


Mums, boost your children’s skills for life!

s1030648_2Just 30 minutes a day is enough to influence your child’s intelligence and social skills.

Scientists studied 8,000 children over 16 years using data from the Millennium Cohort Study. They found:

  • Those whose mothers concentrated on educational tasks such as helping with homework or reading books grew up to have better cognitive abilities.
  • Those whose mothers focussed on recreational activities such as singing or painting, had better social skills.

Of course this doesn’t prove that it’s the voters involvement that dos the trick. Sociable mothers are more likely to play with their children and are also more likely to produce sociable ones. Separating genetic influences from environmental ones is the old nature/nurture dilemma.

Nevertheless the researchers think parents should take note. Marco Francesconi from the University of Essex thinks “just half an hour is enough to make a difference.  While children who spend more time doing educational activities will go on to do better in university and in the workplace, children who spend time doing recreational activities are les aggressive and integrate better into groups”.

He thinks that simply giving people attention could combat inequalities. Children with mothers without university degrees are more likely to do badly in school. “Our study shows that if the mother with no education spends a lot of time doing educational activities with her child, she can make up half the difference

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UK still only average when it comes to literacy

stick_figure_walking_up_books_1600_wht_3441Despite the expansion in university places and the increase in graduates and post-graduates we still are pretty poor when it comes to literacy. Only 25% of graduates in England and Northern Ireland performed well at higher levels of reading and writing.

So much for the high number of students getting A* at A-level and the increasing number of graduates getting 1sts. But we know that’s down to grade inflation and universities lowering grade boundaries so more students get top classifications and the university can attract more bums on seats.

The latest results come for the OECD’s annual comparison of school and university outcomes.

Britain has passed a milestone with more people going on to university-level education than not going beyond school qualifications for the first time. So that’s more students in debt as they seek elusive graduate-level jobs.

Other graduate-led economies have seen a rise in higher-level adult literacy but this didn’t happen in the UK. Despite 41% of adults having a tertiary level qualification in 2012 compared to only 26% in 2000. And the proportion was higher still among people aged 25-34.

The OECD doesn’t say why but it says class sizes in English schools are among the largest in the developed world with an average of 18.8 children with a ratio of 14,2 pupils per teacher. The OECD average is 17.8 children so I’m not clear why having slightly above average numbers puts us in the largest class size category.

So which countries did better and worse than us?

37% Japan & Finland

36% Netherlands

34% Sweden

32% Australia

28% Norway

26% Belgium

25% UK

24% USA & Czech Republic

23% Poland

22% Canada

21% Austria

20% Germany

19% France & Denmark

 


A degree in nursing isn’t everything

nurse_figure_pushing_pill_1600_wht_14162The fact that nursing is now a graduate occupation doesn’t always mean that patients will benefit.

According to the Chief Executive at a London NHS Trust 1 in 3 of these graduate nurses are rejected because they fail simple numeracy and literacy tests. They have to pass tests in compassion (which is part of the UK Nursing Vision) as well but 83% of candidates from one London University failed in at least one of the three tests.

The tests are based on simple drug calculations which nurses need to know so that they can dispense medication safely.

The Chief Executive said that “while many nurses were well-trained and compassionate more should be done by universities taking responsibility for these basic skills and it should’t be left to the employing Trust to teach basic maths”.

At another London NHS Foundation Trust 15% of its nursing applicants failed similar drug calculation tests.

Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said “modern nursing requires high standards in numeracy and literacy so it is vital that these skills are properly assessed at the recruitment stage”.

Professor Ieuan Ellis, Vice-chairman of the Council of Deans of Health which represents universities which train nurses, denied that graduates were ill-prepared for work on the wards. He said “UK data shows that between 81% and 100% go on to graduate=level jobs (and) if there was evidence of a widespread problem we’d be happy to follow it up but this view is simply not backed up by the data“.

Well it is at those two trusts and who do you believe, the employer or someone with a vested interest in running nursing courses?

The Sunday times gave examples of the test questions which are like these below.

  • A patient is prescribed 30mg of a drug which comes in 15mg tablets. How many tablets should the patient receive?
  • Another patient is prescribed 50mg of a drug which comes in 25mg tablets. How many should the patient be given?
  • A drug comes in 2.5mg tablets. How many would you give a patient who needs 12.5 mg?

 


Get your First or 2:1 here…………satisfaction guaranteed………………….!

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

Colleges hit by grade inflation row as EVERYONE gets a top degree on dozens of university courses

  • More than 50 university courses across UK awarded students a First or 2:1
  • Number achieving 2:1 or above has leapt over five years at some institutions
  • Critics say grades have been pushed up as a ‘marketing ploy’
  • Universities said the rises reflected improvements in A-level grades

Top degrees have been awarded to every single student on dozens of British degree courses, a Mail on Sunday investigation into ‘rampant’ grade inflation has found.

On more than 50 courses at universities across the country, in subjects ranging from engineering to English, 100 per cent of students were awarded a First or a 2:1.

At some institutions, the proportion of students achieving at least a 2:1 – a key requirement for many employers – has leapt over the past five years.

On more than 50 courses at universities across the country, in subjects ranging from engineering to English, 100 per cent of students were awarded a First or a 2:1On more than 50 courses at…

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Internships and Political Hypocrisy

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

I have posted seveal times in my blogg about the iniquitous practice of “unpaid internships” so when I came across this item on GuidoFawkes blog I couldnt help but re-post it:-

Rachel Reeves Talks about unpaid internships 

 

Well done to Rachel Reeves for slamming unfair unpaid internships offered by unscrupulous employees. She told the audience at her speech yesterday:

“The problem with internships is that you can afford to do it if your parents have got money. If you don’t live in London you can’t afford to do it if your parents don’t have the money or if you live in an area where there are those kinds of opportunities. So I think there are real problems with unpaid internships and I think obviously the cost of living for a young person versus the cost of living for a family but I still think it’s wrong that you ask…

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Heavy metal degree is a ‘waste of time’ claim campaigners

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

Students playing in a heavy metal band.

During their second year on the course, the students would tour the UK

A two-year degree in heavy metal music has been branded an “easy option” by education campaigners.

The foundation degree – believed to be the first of its kind in the world – is being offered by New College Nottingham (NCN).

The college said the degree is rigorous and is being offered in response to student demand.

However, the Campaign for Real Education said it was a waste of time and would “lack weight” with employers.

Liam Maloy, a lecturer in music performance at NCN, spent seven months developing the course.

Students will learn how to compose and perform heavy metal songs.

The course, which is due to start in September, will also include modules on the music business, the history of heavy metal and its role in films and video games.

In the students’ second year, they…

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Young people want everything but can’t be bothered to earn it

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

Young people want everything but can’t be bothered to earn it as ‘fantasy gap’ between actual earnings and expectations widens among graduates

  • Research into the life goals of three generations of students shows teenagers are more driven by materialism than ever
  • Numbers don’t add up as 62 per cent want to have money but 39 per cent don’t want to work for it
  • Life goals of 355,000 students surveyed in U.S show a shift in priorities

They want all the cash and the flashy lifestyles, but young people just aren’t prepared to work hard to achieve it.

Today’s teenagers have a greater sense of entitlement than previous generations, according to new research.

Studies show that teenagers are more materialistic than ever, while the desire to work hard is at an all-time low.

A survey into the life goals of three generations of students revealed a ‘fantasy gap’ between the desire…

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