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UK among world's worst for 'teaching to the test', research finds

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

  2. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    We are made responsible for our students performance. Is it surprising that teachers, teach to the test?
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    You don't have much choice these days.
    Lara mfl 05 and les25paul like this.
  4. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    This is like condemning runners for racing to the tape.
  5. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    'A Department for Education spokesperson said: “This government has reduced the number of tests children take – for example, by scrapping modules and January assessments as part of our reforms to GCSEs and A-levels – and is making sure they are only tested when they are truly ready.”'

    Try telling that to teachers in YR, Year 1, Year 2 & Year 6!!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

    - - - before any training!
  7. Benbamboo

    Benbamboo Occasional commenter

    When a test becomes the only measure for success (both for the students and teachers), then passing the test becomes the only thing that matters.

    My PRP depends on the levels that my year 6 students achieve, in tests, next May. The message there is that the single most important purpose of my job is to get as many children as possible to pass those damn tests.

    Sadly, most of us know that the tests they sit in year 6 will have no impact whatsoever on their lives - they won't make them better educated young people; they won't set them up for secondary school; they won't help shape future careers - they are a hoop to jump through for monitoring purposes. It is a national scandal that our education system is set up the way it is.
  8. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    As long as truly ready only happens at the end of years 11 and 13.
    wanet likes this.
  9. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    It is the way our system is set up, and will now be very difficult to change. It's a shame that the only tests the Government wants don't assess anything other than written skills in academic subjects.
    wanet and les25paul like this.
  10. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    At my last school years 7 - 11 were tested all the time. Year 10 & 11 seemed to be having continuous mocks.

    They didn't take kindly to my 'you don't fatten a pig by weighing it all the time' comment.
  11. sirspamalotless

    sirspamalotless Occasional commenter

    My targets, my pay rise now solely depend on coursework marks and exam results. I don't teach students anymore; students don't learn to think, to be independent, to make mistakes. They learn to pass exams and to copy coursework but make it look like their own. Besides, behaviour in many secondary schools is now so poor, and this last year has probably been the worst, that real teaching is neigh on impossible.
  12. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    One problem I believe is that mark schemes are so specific as to what can or cannot be accepted as a correct answer (at least it is in science I cannot say for other subjects). This can mean that a student might give a good answer which is correct but not the answer on the scheme. I had an example recently where students were asked to give examples of a use of a particular chemical, the mark scheme only mentioned the two that were in that exam board's text book and ignored many others.

    Now a good examiner might recognise such a case and award the mark but others (espicially if they are making outside their speciality) might not. As a consequence I now tell students "this is the answer the examiner wants to see" when teaching a topic or setting questions. I will agree that other answers might not be wrong in real life but warn students it might not get the marks they want in a test.

    I believe this is totally wrong and is not going to be of benefit in the real world of work and employment when students leave school. But I'm not setting the rules only following them and advising my students to do the same.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  13. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Often markers have leeway with situations as above.

    However, recall being told by a primary head that as local results were not as good as expected they were all called in for training by LA. Gist of the training was that they needed to teach to the tests! So why is it a surprise when that is hoe schools have been trained.
    Lara mfl 05 and phlogiston like this.
  14. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    *Shakes head*
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  15. Principal-Skinner

    Principal-Skinner Occasional commenter

    The two things do not necessarily go together. Teacher should take responsibility for their students' progression, but that doesn't mean you have to do irrelevant testing. Assessment does not mean test test test, it means knowing your students, using good data and ensuring everyone progresses at a good pace.
  16. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Try telling that the various SLT in schools. They just want to test, test, test all the time. Why? It gives them data, data, data which they think Ofsted love.
    Lara mfl 05 and Vince_Ulam like this.
  17. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    "UK among world's worst for 'teaching to the test', research finds"

    UK among world's BEST! for 'teaching to the test', research finds

    - all those years of policy change, measurement, judging, learning walks, book scrutiny, performance management where the ONLY thing that matters is hard results etc. etc. have finally paid off and the educational establishment in the UK can give itself a thoroughly deserved pat on the back for becoming a world leader!
  18. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    So-called 'teaching to the test' is ultimately what teachers are paid to do. What would be the point in teaching pupils content that was never going to be assessed???

    Exams test what has been learned by the pupil, not how the teacher taught it.
  19. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    I am not an instructor. My vision of Education is far wider than just teaching to a test.

    The students need to be able to to have all the skills and resilience to teach themselves. Students are likely to go onto some future education at college, university or in the work place. We do them no favours by narrowly teaching just content so that in the future they fail due to lack of skills and resilience.
  20. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Of course then employers complain that school leavers know nothing. Why? Because all the students know is how to answer questions rather than having any depth of knowledge.
    silverfell85, Yoda- and Mangleworzle like this.

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