Thursday, 18 July 2013

One Size Fits All?

    This week the UK government proposed that all children between the age of five and eleven years of age in England will have to sit formal tests at school, to evaluate their literacy and numeracy skills.

    At present tests are done informally in a child's early years by teachers, his/her progress is monitored and personal details, learning difficulties, or disabilities are taken into account.

    These new proposals will have an outside examiner assess the papers, with no school involvement. Therefore individual circumstances that may have an impact on the child's ability to learn will not be taken into consideration, as far as I can understand.

    The government believe that by standardising tests throughout schools and officially grading children's abilities, children will attain a more acceptable level of the skills needed to move on to High School.

    Whilst I bang on regularly about all kids having the right to be schooled, I am of the opinion that these 'base line' tests are very much a one size fits all. This standardisation works in the clothing industry for example, but kids aren't kaftans, or dresses. When clothing is made we start with a piece of cloth, but children aren't strips of woven material, they are very unique indeed. So one size will never, ever, fit all.

    As Benjamin Franklin said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail," and by failing to receive input from teachers with regards to each child's individuality we are preparing to fail our children.
Even these guys are individuals


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