Teach First have published a research paper which outlines why the current system of school accountability is “Unfit for purpose and detrimental to learning and teaching”. Assessment driven schooling may well help us to catorgorise schools in league tables and Ofsted judgements, but it also undermines the very intension of real education.
Click the play button below to hear an interview with Liz Tonnaman on BBC Radio 4 where she outlines the main point of the research study.
It is also interesting to see a study which goes on to challenge the national agenda in terms of mixed ability teaching, suggesting that there is very little conclusive evidence to suggest that streaming students by ability serves their long term and wholistic development.
I wonder that the mainstream structures of education remain intransigent even in the face of increasing research that challenges, indeed contradicts, the ideas that dominate teaching and learning. I wonder that we wait for policy to change and government targets to shift, or even for public thinking to adjust before aligning what we do with our common sense and with the less politically compromised thinking of such educationalists as discussed below.
If ‘courage’, ‘reflection’ and ‘resilience’ are the important learning muscles that Claxton suggests and if these skills are our priority for the learning needs of our young people – surely we could begin to model such behaviours at the macro level of school management and stand to challenge the tired perspectives that maintain and legitmise a system “unfit for pupose and detrimental to learning.”
The full research paper can be found at: http://www.teachfirst.org.uk/news/policyfirst