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Use of Fischer Family Trust data

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by warwickmansell, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. Hello. It's Warwick Mansell here, a TES reporter.
    I'm sorry to intrude on the forum, but I'm interested in whether art, drama, music and PE teachers, in particular, have views about the use of Fischer Family Trust data in their subjects.

    I'm researching an article on the use of FFT scores, and it has been put to me that its use can be particularly problematic with regard to these subjects. Or perhaps not.

    If you have any thoughts, I wondered if you could email me at warwick.mansell@tes.co.uk. Any comments will be treated as anonymous unless you tell me otherwise.

    I'm posting this on the art, drama, music and PE forums.


    Warwick Mansell

    TES reporter

  2. Sorry to hijack this - I am a Modern Languages teacher. I really find the data is way out with regards to MFL - how do they claim to be able to say how kids will do when they have not done a modern language. Not sure if this helps but our school uses Fischer and I hate it!!!
  3. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I've had this debate many times when it comes to using data to predict results and value added etc...

    I fail to see the point of the whole exercise, other than some baseline information (generally that which can be gained from one encounter with said child) and morbid curiousity and obsession with endeavoring to predict how a child's fart in the might smell on any given day.

    I commenced by career in higher education, where, as risk of exposing the myth.... everyone gets a place if they have a pulse.. and generally no one looks very closely as prior achievement... only at where the student is going in the future academically..... I believe any good teacher can assess a pupils ability quickly, provide learning goals.... and strategically endeavor to get them there and complete without the aid of statistical agencies input.

    I tolerate the exercise, but have in 13 years failed to see any massive correlation, beyond being able to establish that an overall brighter child who applies themselves will invariably do well in my subject.... but given how well some statistically 'poor' children do, this observed fact is negated somewhat.

    With regards using them actively.... Beyond recognition of who has good English skills and who doesn't there is very little value in these exercises in data generation and paper wastage in the realm of performing arts. Perhaps because they are paper based tests, they do not highlight learning needs that you cannot see from meeting a pupil on paper alone... such as motor skills, self discipline, ability to work as a team etc.

    Can I have a cut the fee you get for writing your article now? :p

  4. Mad dog

    Mad dog New commenter

    The main problem is that it lumps everything together - dance, drama expressive arts, the lot. It's therefore no use whatsoever.
  5. its all nonsense. my predictions are usually accurate, FFT are not. esp as they do not explicitly predict for drama (see the Teaching Drama article a couple of issues back) and the Creative Arts predicitons (which SLT told me to use) are not for Drama, but history of art adn other NOT drama stuff...

    Endlish predicitons are hte closest, but my school now teaches BTEC adn FFT does not predict for that at all...

    there was a discussion abotu this before on here, I think whoever wrote the TD article posted, and I found it v helpful in my discussions with SLT...]

    (I must stop with the ... its driving me nuts!)
  6. search earlier threads, I wrote a long thingy about contacting them, and what they said.
  7. resources4drama

    resources4drama New commenter

    Neither Dance nor Drama are in FFT "Expressive Arts".

    In my article in Teaching Drama (thanks for the plug) a couple of months ago, I discovered that most dance and Drama teachers have been given the wrong data by their schools for years.

    And possibly failed their PM because of it??
  8. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Why would you fail your performance management?

    PM targets should never be dependant on variables you cannot control... SO anyone who agrees to a target involving the attainment of others is a bit of a muppet.
  9. resources4drama

    resources4drama New commenter

    Most teachers have a PM objective which relates to student attainment, Daisy. If the attainment targets were reached using false data in the first place, it is inevitable that some students will not reach them.

    I would imagine that most teachers, even SLT, have a target which relates to the attainment of others, be it through exams, attendance or whatever.

  10. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    This would then be the mistake of the person writing the performance management objectives, and of the person signing and agreeing to them.

    There is no compulsion for any teacher (management have different guidance with regards targets) to have objectives relating to data, predictive or otherwise. The objectives should be designed to be attainable, and measureable and not dependant on any third party - pupil or otherwise.
  11. I used to think that they were a waste of time and did not truely reflect a child's success in Drama, I was cynical. However, if you look closely into the details on how FFTs are formualted there is immense data that is supported by all Examination boards and national stats so the FFTs are often quite accurate. I still have some reservations, but it does depend on how you apply data in your lessons. I try to incorporate AFL opportuniites and target setting with my Data. My year 10s data is on the board and they compete against each other based if they are meeting their targets in league system. Only started this term but looking into expanding the ideas further i took the idea from DVD based upon AFL in D&T.
  12. My first ever group have just completed their GCSE and I have found that the FFT were not a lot of use. A pupils who achieves a high Level 6 in English SATS and is subsequently predicted a B/C at GCSE will only achieve that if she/he has confidence on the stage. My pupils who were predicted C's and are very good academically proved to have no confidence when it came to perofrmance. I am not expecting to hit my Value added because no matter how much time i spent with them, when it came to final performance they fogort lines and lost confidence.

    So saying in my Y10 group this year I have one pupil who never passed her SATS and so is predicted G - well her performances are superb, beating those who are predicted Cs. There seems to be no logic.
  13. horsemarket

    horsemarket New commenter

    <font face="Arial" size="2">Don't know if you're still working on this.</font>

    <font face="Arial" size="2"></font>

    <font face="Arial" size="2">I am a HOD Drama. We have been told by SMT that our average results for each class taught at GCSE must come out at least as even in terms of FFT predictions. In other words, if FFT predict an A and the student gets a B, then we lose 4 points, however, if FFT predict a B and they get an A we gain 4 points. To have an overall zero or plus number is often a prerequisite for pay progression. We're led to believe that this is the basis on which we are judged for 'value added' by Ofsted, and that if we don't have an overall plus as a school we're in deep trouble.</font>

    <font face="Arial" size="2"></font>

    <font face="Arial" size="2">In my experiecne the data is absolutely meaningless for Drama. What concerns me most, though, is the amount of power this organisation has, and power to further embed inequality in our society. For example, a school in a 'middle class' area is given higher targets relative to prior attainment than one in a 'poor' area. So, teachers of middle class students are put under extreme pressure to obtain results, whereas teachers of those who live in working class areas are not. This strikes me as a patronising use of figures at best and an immoral one at worst. I totally discount the data, but am forced to use it to describe my students, and, effctively, falsify reports. There is a real danger of widening inequality in our society, unless we disentangle ourselves from this organisation and its so called predictions.</font>
  14. I totally disagree that FFT data is helpful in drama. If you go to resources4drama site there is a useful document which explains further.
  15. As has been put to me by a colleague. If Ann Widdecombe had a FFT target in Dance it would be an A*....do any of us think we could get her to that standard?
  16. True! It works both ways as well. I have a couple of A targets in Y10 and 11 who will never get it in a million years unless someone else does all their practical. Equally my most able in Y11 is target D and in year 10 is target F! Now the Y10 girl might struggle a bit to get an A with the written but the Y11 girl should get an A, I hope. Crazy, crazy madness! Trying to judge something that can't possibly be judged with the information they collate. (I'll get off my soap-box now - it's been a long day!)

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