Tuesday, October 02, 2012

#GCSE and General Standards Debate

I doubt the GCSE debate will end well for anyone. But in amongst all the debate around the dumbing down of assessments or in some accounts of  the amazing performances by teachers contributing to raised grades and finally the acknowledgement that years of market driven offerings may have contributed to inflationary conditions.We are forgetting about those who do the graft and need the grades to progress into further education or employment.

 In all of this it is too easy to lose sight of the learner and the learning that is taking place and we are doing learners a dis-service in not recognising that more effort goes into studying for formal qualification now than probably at any other time.ever across the UK.

Learning has already changed for learners . No not in the classroom where most useful things are  blocked but in informal learning.

There is now enormously rich  learning content if you know where to find it. I think young people are now more motivated than ever to learn . I'll not provide links as  , as motivated learners you will quickly find these learning resources. . But if you wanted help and lots of practice with any of the following you would get it quickly on the web - you could enrol on a free course or join an informal peer support network too

Teaching an American novel
Solving quadratic equations
Studying chemical reaction
Learning a language

The posh kid may once have had access to a tutor or " Coles " notes or some other additional support ,  now those with access to the Internet can get almost infinite information on most topics.. But not just information they can get tailored learning support , practice and feedback.

This  must this be impacting on grades. . If you want to learn how to do something or get access to documentary evidence better than your modern studies or history class offer,  then YouTube is a great place to start..

What we should be thinking about is how we harness these resources and how we close any digital divide.
We should be thinking too,  as we are in Scotland, of  how to combine the best bits of flexible internal continuous assessment with appropriate amounts of external assessment.

We should be looking beyond the exam hall at what comes next to support individual learner journeys.

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