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Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by canofcarrots, Feb 18, 2010.
They just don't know - lol -
Attainment is simply the grade you got
Achievement is the grade you got compared to the grade you started off at.
So your attainment might be low but your achievement can be high, if you started from a very low baseline.
Attainment is how well a student does in comparison with others.
Achievement is how well a student does in relation to their own ability.
Two students might have done equally well in a test, but one of them has achieved a great deal more than the other because it was more of a struggle to get there.
I like that definition.
We have no valid idea of a person's ability until we measure their attainment.
In order not to typecast a person as "being of low ability" it is best to define achievement as the difference between initial and final attainment, and leave "ability" out of the definition altogether.
And in today's world of the 'Lifelong Learner', when exactly does one achieve one's final attainment?
Perhaps the word 'ability' could be replaced by 'aspirations'? For me, the word 'attainment' has purely academic connotations, whereas 'achievement' is more aligned to a broader range of personal and life-long goals.
Achievement is often the pat on the head for those who can't attain, and doesn't have to be linked to curriculum subjects. A pupil can be said to have achieved in school if they involve themselves in school spirit/ community projects/ enterprise etc.
If you're limiting your answer to specifically with subject classrooms then I would agree that attainment is your result in compaison to others and achievement is your result in comparison to what you are capable of.
So now we get to pick and choose definitions, it seems. Humpty Dumpty, anyone?
"I don't know what you mean by 'glory (or attainment, or achievement),'" Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't – till I tell you.....When I use a word...it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master – that's all."