Testing to Destruction

The UK schooling system is so wedded to testing that this last few days has seen comprehensive media coverage of the ridiculous pressure students are put under with the exams logjams. (see for example: Pupils feel exam logjam pressure http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7393715.stm Some students are subjected three and four exams throughout each day and over  successive days. Differing exam boards are unable to co-ordinate their programmes and the total impact continues to underline a factory model of schooling which has little to do with education. It makes a mockery of wanting to help the learner do their best and shows once again just how unwieldy, bureaucratic and inflexible the system is.

Think of how much better it would be if their was invitational assessment when a learner was ready. We do this with driving tests very successfully but it seems beyond the wit and wisdom of the schooling machine to consider.

This kind of occurence of is endemic to schooling. The whole notion of age-stage progression is not only unsupportable educationally it fuels entry, transition and exit bureaucracies and stresses as cohorts of youngsters are processed, sorted and labelled. Rather than testing our kids to destruction our society  urgently needs to address ourselves to deep learning. PEN’s personalised educational landscape is a better starting point.

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