College tests: a main flaw in the UK’s education and learning program | Letters


Full marks to George Monbiot for his critique of the English school test program (England’s punitive exam program is only great at a person detail: preserving privilege, 27 April). He asks what would a honest, rounded 21st-century schooling glance like.

A person solution would be to search at Finland, in which there are no tests right before faculty leaving and no league tables. All evaluation is trainer-based mostly, geared to guiding more learning. Lecturers appreciate large skilled autonomy, grounded in their personal training to master’s amount. The Finnish process is avowedly egalitarian, with the goal of minimising social inequalities. All college students get free of charge faculty foods. And guess what? Finland outperforms the United kingdom not only in phrases of wellbeing and existence pleasure of 15-calendar year-olds, but also in their efficiency in the OECD Pisa checks, primarily based on examining, arithmetic and science.

The English education program is dependent on three Cs: competitiveness, coercion and cramming. The Finnish technique rests on 3 distinctive Cs: collaboration, conversation and conceptualisation. Finnish education and learning is not ideal, and it is not the only route to high Pisa efficiency. But the OECD is in no question what a 21st-century schooling needs: “When lecturers truly feel a perception of possession around their classrooms, when pupils really feel a sense of possession more than their learning, that is when understanding for the … details age can choose spot.” There is an option, if we so decide on.
Chris Sinha
Honorary professor, College of East Anglia

At the time yet again, George Monbiot has highlighted a major flaw in Uk modern society and the role exams play in preserving privilege. It is, of training course, achievable to bypass the process, as my have practical experience has revealed. Acquiring remaining point out faculty at age 17 with no any A-amounts, I then managed to re-enter greater instruction by attaining place of work qualifications to get a BSc and PhD, and grew to become a professor at the University of Nottingham.

The obstacle of regurgitating information in exams in no way served me. But having a a lot more rounded education supplied me with a significantly much more supportive mindset in instructing learners, with any luck , serving to many to totally get to their potential, over and above the regular standards of exam grades.
Dr Michael Symonds
Sutton Bonington, Nottinghamshire

There are good reasons other than people George Monbiot mentions that clarify the government’s wish for introducing a Gradgrind training process. Reducing the curriculum to very easily quantifiable aspects will make it simple for the authorities to management education and learning and to guarantee instructional deviancy is removed. Great faculties are individuals that match up to requirements established by the authorities.

Margaret Thatcher’s distress at the wrong kind of persons managing our children’s education and learning is no for a longer period a trouble. Curriculum and educating techniques are established by ministers. Any faculty that doesn’t satisfy the imposed conditions will be deemed failing and closed. Educational deviancy, or more correctly, impartial considering, is eradicated from the process.

This system also presents plenty of “red meat” to be thrown to the media. An arbitrary transform in the principles makes it effortless to discover schools that are failing. There is almost nothing extra most likely to thrill the rightwing media than a tricky minister cracking down on errant schools.
Derrick Joad

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