Every 10-11 year old in the country (barring those at private school or those home educuated) gets to sit their SATs. According to successive education secretaries this one week will show: how a school has performed, have the teachers raised standards and followed the proscribed curriculum; can the children sit a test in exam conditions! Oh yes and what attainment that child has made.
One week... on the basis of that one week the great governmental statisticians calculate how far along the expected educational track the child has come, are they on target? Then we can tell everyone how ....
(insert here favourite rhetoric of choice, didn't someone once say there are lies, damned lies and statistics.).
Where is the child in this? And what is Educashun for? Can you tell I am angry?
I love my job. I have the privilege of influencing and guiding the next generation. I see my job as the most important one I have ever had in my life, as what I do has an effect on another person for good or ill. If I teach badly, if I am unfair, or mean, I put a child off the love of learning for a long time. The memories of bad teachers stay with us for a lifetime. When I succeed I light the fire and teach the skills (for each child) to be able to find out what the world is about. I equip them with the tools they need to achieve.
And yet, on monday this week, I watched 42 children walk out of a room looking shell shocked. They had been given a reading paper that they did not comprehend and were asked questions, worded in such a way, I had to read them twice to be sure what the answer should be.
READING... one of the greatest pleasures in life had just been turned into an hour of purgatory for 42 kids. And I can guarantee that our children were not the only ones feeling that way.
What is education?
I can guarantee that question has made you react strongly! Either you hated school or loved it.. maybe you think our current system works, maybe you sit in horror at what we are doing to our children. Whatever you think, you will have had a reaction.
Ranting to be continued...