'Young can only read digital clocks'

stickywicket Member Posts: 27,106
edited 29. Apr 2018, 10:20 in Community Chit-chat archive

According to a report in the Times Educational Supplement teachers are considering replacing traditional clocks in GCSE and A-level exam rooms because pupils need a digital clock to be able to tell the time :o :shock: :?

We have just returned from California where part of our 8yr old grandson's classwork, brought home every Friday, was to write in the time shown on an A4 sheet of clock faces and then, given another A4 sheet of blank clock faces, draw the correct 'clock hands for a time given underneath each.

The 8yr old got them all right. If 15yr olds can't then maybe they should be taught how to rather than dumbing down the entire system.


  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Teaching children to read analogue time is part of the National Curriculum in primary schools - and I have struggled to teach children this for years and quite honestly don't see the point, especially with lower ability children. When I was growing up there were no digital clocks so it was natural to learn to read analogue clocks because these were the ones that surrounded us. I can remember being confused by digital clocks when these first started appearing especially 24 hr ones!
    Children now are surrounded by digital clocks in the main so these are the ones they need to read and understand, with analogue as an "extension" activity. There is simply less opportunity for them to practice this skill in the "real world" as opposed to worksheets which are set as homework.
  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,428
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    So children will look at Big Ben and say 'whats that'? Or go to work and look at the clock and not know the time? Surely to survive in this world we need to teach them everything we can and an appreciation of time is a very basic need?

    Next we won't bother with puntuation and spelling or practise writing because they can speak into a computer and listen on headsets, its a very long and steep slippery slope if we don't keep to our time honoured ways!
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Nice pun, Airwave! :lol: I remember the novelty of digital clocks but aren't they soul-less? The joy of analogue is the variety of designs and they only go 'wrong' when the battery dies, unlike digitals which are plugged in and stop when power cuts occur. I can see no reason why children shouldn't be taught both, it seems we are always reducing the achievement targets. DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,106
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think I remember a similar discussion when calculators arrived on the market. Why teach basic maths when everyone has a calculator? Frankly, I always used to check my calculations on paper and often found I'd programmed the wrong numbers in.

    I still believe that children doing GCSEs should be able to tell the time both ways and be responsible for ensuring they can read whatever clock the exam room has on offer. The very fact that this issue has arisen must mean that there are a great many analogue clocks still being used.
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,276
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I agree they should be able to read a clock..Its takes me back to my late dad sitting in bed after an accident down the mines..and leaning me how to tell the time..got it after 3 days... :)

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