There was a really interesting article in yesterday's Times, and in the light of what Rachel and I had to say about education and how there is now such a shortage of skilled tradesmen, it was so pertinent. Sadly I forgot to keep it (the Times makes good fire lighters).
It was written by an ex-headmaster and he was talking about how the emphasis had changed in examinations.
When I did my training - early in the 1960s - great emphasis was placed on the normal curve of distribution in marking techniques.
The chap in yesterday's article argued that this was no longer the case, that teachers on the whole had stopped teaching the wideness of a subject and were concentrating on teaching answer techniques to questions which might come up on the exam paper. This was often making the curve skewed.
It is sad that this has happened. It reminded me of Gradgrind in the Dicken's novel. Facts, facts, facts - what has happened to the discussion, the experimenting, the creative learning techniques?
I don't think it is just at Secondary level necessarily. I have a friend who used to be a Primary Headteacher and she talks of wonderful projects children used to do. The one which made an impression on me was a project they did on the Vikings. I wonder how much time Primary school children have to spend on such things these days. Schools used to be able to incorporate maths, english, arts and crafts - the lot all in one project. Is there still time for this in Primary schools or have Ofsted visits overtaken this in importance? Is there a mum or a teacher out there who can answer this question for us?