October 11, 2015
Barnaby Lenon interesting article put pressure on children: that is their virtue raises some pertinent issues about the importance of school examinations although, as is often the cheap oakleys case, the devil of the article is in the detail.
Much of what is written is predictable, identifying examinations as the best way of assessing children learning and asserting that examinations encourage children to strive and to perform, all of which I concur with.
Yet while examinations are an important tool, they are not the only measure of what constitutes a education. To have any value, learning needs to be sustainable, if not in the memory, at least in the habit. To see exams as the essential building block of education makes one wonder what happens when the props are pulled away, as they will be in time.
If children don learn responsibility for their own learning and autonomy in their mid teens, when do they learn? By giving exams undue prominence, often by plastering over the cracks in buy fake oakleys store understanding what is learnt, we fall into the cheapest oakleys trap of letting the requirements of the test take over.
We have become very good at teaching to the test and celebrate the teacher who guesses which questions are going to come up. And yet how often do selective schools complain of pupils coming to them who have been over prepared and never reach the same level again.
Exams aren’t the building blocks to a good education, argues Peter Tait Photo: Rex Features
Universities, likewise, make the same case, as students come to them with the requisite grades, but too often struggle to sustain the same level of performance thereafter. Too often it seems, the importance of exams (and, implicitly for schools, league tables) has clouded their thinking to the detriment of the long term interests of the student. Passing exams is all very well, but it is not, and discount oakleys never has been, enough.
There is the world of difference between the purpose of education and the role of examinations, as the etymology of both words (educare and examinare) would suggest.
Which leads to the contention that boys (in particular) do not respond to the carrot and therefore need the stick in order to work best and that examination pressure helps in this process. Undoubtedly this is true in too many instances, but we need to ask why. Why do so many see education (or is it just school?) as something to be endured? Why do some children not appreciate the value of education or, for whatever reason, feel that education is not going to determine or affect their journey in life?
Of course, there are all sorts of mitigating factors; developmental, environmental, hormonal. But one overriding reason is quite likely because we haven taken enough time to tell them so. They need to know. And in stressing the importance of examinations, we need to stress, also, that learning does not have to be examined to have value quite the opposite as we find out as adults.
It is vital for teachers to encourage an appetite for learning, to teach children the importance of asking questions and taking intellectual risk things the examination system often fake oakleys mitigates against and to learn for their own sake the importance and the privilege of education and labelling such notions as idealistic is simply an abrogation of the educator responsibility.
Of course, it can be done. We should be teaching children to take more responsibility for their own learning, especially those who don value it. That way, children will still feel pressure in preparing for examinations and properly so, but it will be theirs, because they will have the ambition and drive to find what they are capable of achieving on their own.
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