June 18, 2024


International Student Club UK

School exams: a major flaw in the UK’s education system | Letters


Total marks to George Monbiot for his critique of the English university examination program (England’s punitive examination method is only superior at a single thing: preserving privilege, 27 April). He asks what would a good, rounded 21st-century instruction look like.

A single respond to would be to look at Finland, wherever there are no tests prior to faculty leaving and no league tables. All evaluation is teacher-dependent, geared to guiding more understanding. Instructors enjoy large skilled autonomy, grounded in their very own instruction to master’s degree. The Finnish system is avowedly egalitarian, with the aim of minimising social inequalities. All college students receive absolutely free school meals. And guess what? Finland outperforms the British isles not only in conditions of wellbeing and daily life satisfaction of 15-yr-olds, but also in their functionality in the OECD Pisa assessments, based mostly on reading through, arithmetic and science.

The English schooling system is centered on a few Cs: levels of competition, coercion and cramming. The Finnish procedure rests on three unique Cs: collaboration, conversation and conceptualisation. Finnish instruction is not fantastic, and it is not the only route to large Pisa overall performance. But the OECD is in no doubt what a 21st-century education involves: “When lecturers really feel a sense of ownership above their school rooms, when students truly feel a perception of possession in excess of their mastering, that is when studying for the … information and facts age can consider place.” There is an option, if we so pick out.
Chris Sinha
Honorary professor, College of East Anglia

The moment once again, George Monbiot has highlighted a key flaw in United kingdom culture and the part tests play in preserving privilege. It is, of class, achievable to bypass the technique, as my own expertise has proven. Obtaining remaining point out faculty at age 17 with out any A-amounts, I then managed to re-enter larger education and learning by attaining office qualifications to attain a BSc and PhD, and became a professor at the University of Nottingham.

The challenge of regurgitating information and facts in examinations in no way assisted me. But getting a additional rounded education and learning presented me with a substantially additional supportive angle in instructing students, hopefully encouraging many to thoroughly get to their likely, past the usual requirements of exam grades.
Dr Michael Symonds
Sutton Bonington, Nottinghamshire

There are reasons other than those George Monbiot mentions that clarify the government’s drive for introducing a Gradgrind education and learning process. Cutting down the curriculum to very easily quantifiable features will make it quick for the governing administration to command education and learning and to assure academic deviancy is eliminated. Superior schools are those that match up to requirements established by the governing administration.

Margaret Thatcher’s distress at the improper sort of people today managing our children’s education and learning is no lengthier a dilemma. Curriculum and instructing strategies are identified by ministers. Any university that does not meet up with the imposed criteria will be considered failing and shut. Academic deviancy, or more appropriately, independent thinking, is removed from the program.

This program also gives loads of “red meat” to be thrown to the media. An arbitrary change in the rules helps make it quick to find schools that are failing. There is very little far more probable to thrill the rightwing media than a difficult minister cracking down on errant educational facilities.
Derrick Joad

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