Testing and Learning
Published: Monday, 28 March 2016 12:37
Spring is in the air and the teacher union conferences dominate the education pages of the press.
A cursory glance reveals the usual concerns about how over-tested UK children are compared to pupils of other nationalities and how useless and stressful it is to test children. This debate has become ritualised to the point of absurdity with both sides entirely convinced of the rightness of their cause and simply unable to comprehend another view.
Testing is something that teachers think a lot about. What is the purpose of testing? How often should we test students? What is the best way to do it? How much lesson time should be given over to testing when it could be used for teaching? At Birkdale we test all of the pupils in every subject at the end of each year with many subjects offering more frequent testing. Whilst this is partly to accustom students to the business of revising and ‘doing exams’ – sitting in a large room, pens clutched in a clear plastic bag, without a phone (or even a watch) in sight, and remaining calm, controversially, I think that it also helps the students to learn.
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