Sunday 7 February 2016

Secondary school teacher explains why he has to teach to the test

On a post below about Nick Gibb urging teachers to help their children read for pleasure by taking them to the library (wot library, nick?) and get away from teaching to the test (that's what your test-crazy regime gave birth to, Nick), someone called David Gould wrote this:

"Secondary school teachers do this [David's referring to 'teach to the test'] because since the early 1990s school shave been forced to measure progress on National Curriculum levels which assumed close analytical responses to texts to gain a basic level 5. If you dictate and brainwash a profession to act in one way, then why question it when the process has become institutionalized? And since GCSE is the benchmark we are told to aim for, why would you NOT help students early to cope with what is to come. If Education Ministers (I always think that is an oxymoron) want assessment to reflect real education practice perhaps they had better design exams that allow students to read for pleasure and let them write about their thinking and personal responses to texts that appeal to them. It might mean that the 'correct answers' would not be able to be written on exam mark schemes and we would have to assess insight and understanding. We used to have exams like that and they were excellent at motivating students to read and respond but they were deemed too easy as they had generic questions."