Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Less clever = lazy judgements

Brightest pupils less able than 30 years ago, research shows | Education | The Guardian: "The brightest teenagers were far less clever than a generation ago, while their classmates of average intelligence are more able than they used to be, the research concluded. It found significant improvements in the average performance of pupils."

Hmmmm... think this is going to go in my 'hate this type of 'research' pile. "far less clever" - don't you love that kind of headline-fodder? I think there are significant issues with the whole teaching-to-the-test ethos of the education system in the UK, but I don't believe that it makes children 'less clever'. You don't give pupils the skills to think deeply about problems or allow them to think outside very constrained curriculum-ized boxes and that's the fault of the system, not of the students. We don't encourage children or teachers to be able to enjoy learning broadly. We want boxes ticked. Standards met. We don't think about real learning terribly much. To then turn round and go 'oh, well, it's the children who aren't as clever' is lazy and part of the blame culture which isn't allowing a decent rethink of what's going on. Does someone, somewhere fundamentally think that children's brains have changed so they're not as bright??? Come off it. Empower them. Give them passion for learning. And stop worrying about petty, misinformed teaching to the test which is denying people their full potential.

There. Today's 'feeling grotty' induced ranting, done. :o)

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