Jiva Technology

testing, testing …

Its not an original observation, but it does appear that the relentless focus on tests and testing from an early age within the British education might just be turning large swathes of young people off the idea of education at just the time in history when they need it more than ever. The idea of testing makes sense; in management consulting parlance, if you can’t measure something, you can’t manage it. And with the nation pouring large amounts of cash into the education, its natural to want to know that we’re getting value for money. What’s the alternative? Put up the cash and hope for the best? But school now seems to be an endless succession of hurdles that kids are asked to jump over and where’s the fun in that? Is anyone seriously asking the users of the system how that feels? Because (albeit with a microscpoic sample size), the answers I hear ain’t pretty.

It simply isn’t true that every year of your school life is as important as the others. Surely there’s room to have some years without testing? Years when students can explore topics for fun or push the boundaries a little. The UK is unusual in holding formal exams at 16 and 18, so how about a little give and take? it wouldn’t be difficult to map out muti-year plans that say, ‘you can ease off a bot here because its going to get tough in these years’. Apart from anything else, one of the most valuable skills that students will learn is not passing exams, but in successfully organising and executing indepent inquiry.

If anyone out there has seen any studies or feedback or research on how the ‘users’ of the education system view ┬árelentless testing, we’d be glad to hear about it.

 

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