Laurence
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Get London Programming?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:30 pm

Recently I read a copy of The Evening Standard and came across an article which really made me think. A large percentage of pupils from a struggling state school in London are failing to reach the average reading level for their age group when leaving the school. The Standard suggested that a group volunteers go into the school and help teach the children to read.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/.....t-marys.do

This seems like a great idea and it got me thinking....

Couldn't a similar model be applied with programming? Recently a friend of mine told me that just before graduating university there was a strong recruitment drive for maths and physics teachers, who would after completing their degree go into an intensive training course and be teaching within the same year. The students that this was aimed at typically would go into professions such as accountancy, software development and banking. The idea behind this was that some of the more driven students keen to start their career, never would consider teaching, however if they were to give perhaps a couple of years they could then go onto different careers in The City. I'm not entirely sure I agree with this approach, as it does undermine the skills and ability of current teachers (this recruitment drive was at a top university, I believe some of the reasons schools like this have difficulty are sociological issues and nothing to do with the academic background of the teaching staff) and according to the anecdotal evidence of my friends experience, no-body signed up.

Couldn't we borrow from the current model? Would people give up their time to help teach children programming? I think it would be inspiring in terms of what can be done with programming if someone came in and said "This is the game I'm working on... let's make a simple one in Python!". Who knows it's just an idea....

hippy
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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Get London Programming?

Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:01 pm

In my youth ( long ago now ) there were various extra-curricular classes at lunch time, after school and a number of 'hobby clubs' you could attend if you wanted to. From what I hear from 'yoof of today' there's very little of that now so it's perhaps more a societal thing than anything else. People wanting to learn and people happy to help people learn ( or just have fun ) seem to actually be plentiful and could get together and probably would if it were facilitated.

One thing I'd like to see is schools and colleges throwing their doors open so their resources could be used by the entire community and that IMO is the first necessary step in bringing everyone together; unless there is some place to come together it's unlikely to happen.

edgester
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:35 pm

Re: Get London Programming?

Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:31 pm

I like your idea. There are some hurdles to cross, though. In my local K-12 school district, all volunteers must pass a criminal background check, and pay for the check ($30US). This applies to nearly anyone who sets foot on a school grounds during classes. A parent cannot have lunch with their kid without going through this process. I'm bring this up to forewarn anyone who wants to try this. Be sure to check with the schools first. All of this said, the local school district does actively enlist volunteers for things like having professionals have lunch with at-risk students.

The fear of sex offenders is one of the barriers to having primary schools be more open. For colleges, I would guess that equipment theft and extra staffing may be problems.

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croston
Posts: 711
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:33 pm
Location: Blackpool
Contact: Website

Re: Get London Programming?

Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:45 pm

In the UK, you can help in schools by registering as a STEM Ambassador. This covers all the red tape that is necessary when working with children, as well as networking with other like minded volunteers to share ideas. See http://www.stemnet.org.uk/

Laurence
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Get London Programming?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:48 am

Some interesting points raised there. So it seems as though there would be interest and people are willing but there is a lot of red tape in the way....

The Stem volunteering scheme seems like a great idea!

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Luny
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Location: Ewell, Surrey
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Re: Get London Programming?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:58 pm

Quote from hippy on December 4, 2011, 15:01
In my youth ( long ago now ) there were various extra-curricular classes at lunch time, after school and a number of 'hobby clubs' you could attend if you wanted to. From what I hear from 'yoof of today' there's very little of that now so it's perhaps more a societal thing than anything else. People wanting to learn and people happy to help people learn ( or just have fun ) seem to actually be plentiful and could get together and probably would if it were facilitated

I think the media is flaming that one. It is all down to the school / area, not the whole nation as the Daily Mail would like us to think. The schools around here, in Surrey, do plenty of after / before school clubs. It is mainly sport and the arts around here, but it gives the kids places to go and be together etc.
Luny

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