Beefy marks to George Monbiot for his critique of the English college exam system (England’s punitive exam system is purely ultimate at one element: maintaining privilege, 27 April). He asks what would an supreme, rounded 21st-century training detect treasure.
One solution could be to receive at Finland, where there are no longer any assessments sooner than college leaving and no league tables. All overview is trainer-primarily based, geared to guiding further finding out. Teachers trip high educated autonomy, grounded of their own training to grasp’s level. The Finnish system is avowedly egalitarian, with the target of minimising social inequalities. All college students receive free college meals. And wager what? Finland outperforms the UK no longer only by approach of wellbeing and lifestyles satisfaction of 15-year-olds, but as well of their performance in the OECD Pisa tests, in preserving with reading, arithmetic and science.
The English training system is in preserving with three Cs: opponents, coercion and cramming. The Finnish system rests on three a few Cs: collaboration, communication and conceptualisation. Finnish training is no longer supreme, and it’s no longer the single route to high Pisa performance. But the OECD is in little doubt what a 21st-century training requires: “When lecturers in actuality feel a type of ownership over their classrooms, when college students in actuality feel a type of ownership over their finding out, that is when finding out for the … recordsdata age can happen.” There is one more, if we so purchase.
Honorary professor, University of East Anglia
But again, George Monbiot has highlighted a distinguished flaw in UK society and the unbiased assessments play in maintaining privilege. It’s some distance, after all, attainable to bypass the system, as my own trip has proven. Having left advise college at age 17 with out any A-ranges, I then managed to re-enter greater training by gaining put of labor qualifications to assign a BSc and PhD, and grew to change into a professor on the University of Nottingham.
The misfortune of regurgitating recordsdata in assessments in no approach helped me. But having a more rounded training supplied me with a a lot more supportive attitude in teaching college students, confidently helping many to fully reach their attainable, beyond the commonplace standards of exam grades.
Dr Michael Symonds
Sutton Bonington, Nottinghamshire
There are reasons as antagonistic to those George Monbiot mentions that indicate the chief’s want for introducing a Gradgrind training system. Reducing the curriculum to with out bother quantifiable parts makes it easy for the chief to manage training and to carry out certain academic deviancy is eradicated. Goal correct faculties are those that match as a lot as standards determined by the chief.
Margaret Thatcher’s hurt on the harmful originate of people controlling our younger people’s training isn’t any longer a misfortune. Curriculum and teaching systems are determined by ministers. Any college that doesn’t meet the imposed standards will most likely be deemed failing and closed. Tutorial deviancy, or more because it could maybe be, self reliant pondering, is eradicated from the system.
This approach also affords a few “crimson meat” to be thrown to the media. An arbitrary trade in the rules makes it easy to receive faculties that are failing. There is nothing at risk of thrill the rightwing media than a sophisticated minister cracking down on errant faculties.