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Should Teachers Give Predictive Grades, At All?

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by Gavster77, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. Gavster77

    Gavster77 Occasional commenter

    Having been at several meetings recently where teacher competency over providing predictions for the mark pupils may or may not achieve, I have to ask, should we be speculating at all?

    I think a big driver of workload is parent and managerial expectations of a bunch of fairy tale things, not least of which is how well a pupil will fare in a given course. Surely if we kick all of this into the long grass, out of reports and tracking, we save ourselves a headache, no?
    Freddie92 and bigjimmy2 like this.
  2. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Quite right too, Gav.

    You get the all-too-common example, where the child - for that is what they are - gets 10% in a prelim, say, and the parent questions why you haven't predicted a Grade A for their beloved.

    This "situation" usually involves several parental telephone calls (to Pastoral Care*, of all people); Pastoral Care speaking to your Faculty Head; and the Faculty Head speaking at, sorry, to you. During this last meeting your professional competency is seamlessly and unhesitatingly called into question. Given the time all this takes, you wonder if it really is worth the while when you add up the man-hours, sorry, person-hours involved.

    Or you get another example where you deviate ever-so-slightly from script and predict the straight-A child will get a Grade B in your subject because you strongly suspect he/she hasn't been putting in the effort required. Your Faculty Head interrogates you again and you explain your reasoning . . . and then you are ordered to change the prediction to a Grade B. All this just to get the parent off Pastoral Care's backs - they've got better things to do you know.

    And in August, when the results come out . . .

    Perhaps we would all be much better off by predicting the winning lottery numbers every week?

    * Don't know about you but I personally can't stand being questioned about my professional judgement skills by a PE teacher.
  3. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I've just retired but,yes,I hated predicting grades.
    Freddie92 likes this.
  4. morrisseyritual

    morrisseyritual Occasional commenter

    Agreed. I mooted raising this as a motion at the EIS AGM and was shouted down but I think it is the biggest and most ridiculous stick used to beat teachers with, second only to results.

    The educational gurus Dylan William and James Hattie - who local authorities spend thousands sending teachers to hear - aren’t being heard by those very local authorities. Both men roundly disagree with predicting grades or even judging a teacher by results.

    If I asked a doctor, nurse, plumber or mechanic to predict how well his/her procedures/repairs would go, I would regard it as conversationally informal at best.

    As has been said before, PE teachers in promoted posts (aren’t they all) who can point to a skinny kid and say they’ll run fast and an overweight kid and say they won’t, think all teachers can apply the same performance criteria.

    if there are any young uns willing to, I would pick this cudgel up at Union level again and cut the sacred cow of predictive grades out of the profession - and a few managers down to size with it.
    Freddie92, sicilypat and bigjimmy2 like this.
  5. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    A couple of things about this predicted grade (and general tracking) garbage

    1. What happened 20 years ago before all these tracking programs and spreadshites were invented. Did studious pupils do well? Yes. Did lazy pupils do badly? Yes. So what has changed. Nothing, apart from a desire to hit teachers over the head with "data" sticks. Tracking systems do not help pupils do well in exams, it's teaching.
    2. Is there a correlation between constantly telling a kid they are shyte and this upsurge of "anxiety"? Now I think that kids are mollycoddled far too much, lack resilience and are too keen for someone else to do things for them. However if you constantly tell them you're a 7 when you "should" be a 5, which is what tracking systems effectively do, it's no wonder some of them get stressed.

    Pupils needs to take responsibilty - education is a privilege and if they don't buy into it, that's their problem. A footballer won't make it to professional standard unless they are prepared to train hard and practice constantly.
  6. ladywholunch

    ladywholunch New commenter

    No. Even OFSTED, darn sarf, said in an official blog that predictive grades were “a mug’s game” - a bit of game-set-and-match muscle flexing from managers with sod all better to do.
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  7. autoq

    autoq New commenter

  8. partickz

    partickz New commenter

    Predicting grades when up to 30% of it in my curricular area comes from coursework we are not meant to mark,..... completely crazy
    Freddie92, bigjimmy2 and Effinbankers like this.

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