Monday, 10 September 2012

Testing to the teach

After the resounding ridicule success of pilot tests to see whether children can use phonics (the government approved tool for teaching reading regardless of aptitude or learning style), and following calls by education experts for similar measures to assess small children's abilities across the National Curriculum, it has been decided to introduce similar tests in maths and art at the age of five or six once children complete Year One. Starting this month maths lessons throughout Year One will focus on teaching addition and subtraction using coloured counters as maths manipulatives, while all the art lessons will have sponge painting at their core. The culmination of the teaching in these two subjects will come at the end of that year, when all children will have their maths skills assessed with an unscored game of tiddly winks, while their artistic abilities will be tested via how well they can wash a car with a sponge.

Education expert Daph Tydeeya applauded the common sense of this decision, saying, "It's a great measure of our modern school system that we can completely remove ourselves not only from the question of whether what we're teaching is of any use to the individual child, but also whether how we're teaching even achieves what we were trying to teach. All that matters is that we are using a method and that we can assess whether children can use that method to achieve something entirely useless, thereby confirming that the method in isolation has validity entirely separate from actually achieving anything at all. So in short, the concept of any of this being about children's education is so last century. We're pleased to have ditched that whole charade and can be open about the fact that it's entirely about getting kids to do what we say, using our methods, which can be 100% tested and shown to be indeed, erm, methods."

Questioned on whether they would be introducing further tests across the curriculum, Vesta Dintrest, consultant to the Department for Education, divulged that in the pipeline there are plans for testing PE skills by building sandcastles in the long jump pit, and history knowledge by using archived newspapers to line cat litter trays. 

*Disclaimer: I don't usually blog about school, as it's not really even on our radar, but sometimes I read a story of this extreme level of lunacy that makes me breathe a sigh of relief that my child, who would, in school, be subject to these phonics tests this year (I think...), is living a life free of all this nonsense. Please don't take from this that I advocate testing if it's not completely batpoo crazy and counter-intuitive. It's all batpoo crazy and counter-intuitive :)

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