Sunday, June 10, 2007

The counterblast begins (I hope)

At last there seems to be the beginnings of a counterblast to this test, test, test of children that started under Major and expanded enormously under Blair.

While testing (in the sense of formative and diagnostic testing in class) is (and always has been) an essential part of education (though these days usually under the name assessment). Summative testing is stressful for all parties, and as the article suggests damaging to education.

Unfortunately, I don't think that this will move anything like fast enough, and many more children will have their education damaged through over (summative) testing. Damaging because it narrows the curriculum to focus on the tests, damaging because it ensures that focus is primarily on those who can be bumbed up a grade (the borderline cases) to the detriment of those who are mid grade, excelling or doing poorly. Damaging because it makes education boring. Damaging because the focus moves from learning to testing. Damaging because it is stressful for all involved.,,2099635,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront

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