Entire marks to George Monbiot for his critique of the English faculty examination process (England’s punitive test technique is only excellent at just one detail: preserving privilege, 27 April). He asks what would a honest, rounded 21st-century training search like.
One response would be to appear at Finland, in which there are no exams prior to school leaving and no league tables. All assessment is trainer-based, geared to guiding further discovering. Lecturers take pleasure in high qualified autonomy, grounded in their individual schooling to master’s degree. The Finnish technique is avowedly egalitarian, with the goal of minimising social inequalities. All students receive totally free school meals. And guess what? Finland outperforms the United kingdom not only in terms of wellbeing and lifetime fulfillment of 15-year-olds, but also in their performance in the OECD Pisa exams, based mostly on examining, mathematics and science.
The English education process is based on 3 Cs: competitiveness, coercion and cramming. The Finnish program rests on a few unique Cs: collaboration, conversation and conceptualisation. Finnish instruction is not best, and it is not the only route to substantial Pisa efficiency. But the OECD is in no question what a 21st-century schooling demands: “When lecturers sense a perception of possession about their classrooms, when college students sense a sense of ownership about their finding out, that is when mastering for the … information and facts age can get spot.” There is an choice, if we so opt for.
Honorary professor, University of East Anglia
The moment once again, George Monbiot has highlighted a significant flaw in United kingdom culture and the role examinations engage in in preserving privilege. It is, of program, probable to bypass the procedure, as my possess working experience has revealed. Getting remaining state faculty at age 17 without the need of any A-concentrations, I then managed to re-enter greater education by attaining workplace qualifications to gain a BSc and PhD, and grew to become a professor at the College of Nottingham.
The obstacle of regurgitating information in exams in no way served me. But possessing a much more rounded instruction furnished me with a considerably much more supportive mindset in teaching learners, with any luck , aiding numerous to fully reach their potential, further than the typical criteria of test grades.
Dr Michael Symonds
Sutton Bonington, Nottinghamshire
There are factors other than all those George Monbiot mentions that reveal the government’s desire for introducing a Gradgrind education and learning technique. Decreasing the curriculum to easily quantifiable factors makes it simple for the govt to control instruction and to make certain instructional deviancy is eliminated. Very good schools are individuals that match up to requirements identified by the federal government.
Margaret Thatcher’s distress at the incorrect form of people today controlling our children’s education is no more time a challenge. Curriculum and training approaches are determined by ministers. Any college that does not meet the imposed criteria will be considered failing and shut. Educational deviancy, or extra appropriately, independent wondering, is removed from the method.
This system also delivers lots of “red meat” to be thrown to the media. An arbitrary alter in the policies can make it uncomplicated to uncover faculties that are failing. There is absolutely nothing additional likely to thrill the rightwing media than a challenging minister cracking down on errant colleges.