1. Teacher 'bias' gives better marks to favourite pupils, research reveals
Can you believe that People actually get paid to do this kind of research?
Well of course they do. Such research fits the government's agenda. The agenda is that there is a consistency problem in education. If there is a problem it needs to be fixed... with an expensive tool
What astounds me about this piece is the assumption that all the 'favorites' are the high achievers. Um I'm sorry, I know that we are teachers, but we do actually have different preferences! For example, my favorite food will be different to yours (no, we dont all like apples) my favorite movie will be different to yours (no, we dont all like dangerous minds). So it stands to reason that our favorite students will be different too. And who really has favorites anyway? I dont know about you, but I am yet to meet the perfect child...Different kids float our different boats for different reasons at different times. We're an inconsistent bunch, and you know what? WE SHOULD BE.
2. Can You Measure an Education? Can You Define Life’s Meaning? via @traintheteacher
This post takes us back to the origins and purpose of schooling (reading and memorizing bible passages, the factory model of education, you know the story) and then asks:
"What, really, should be the purpose of education? Or, put otherwise, what are our goals for our children’s development? Most of us today don’t want our children to become unquestioning followers of authority figures. We have seen the evil that can happen from that orientation. And I don’t think most of us see the proper goal of education as that of performing well on the television show, “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?” We know that the trivia fifth graders (or any other graders) are supposed to know has little to do with life success. But what do we want? Or, maybe I should put it this way: What do YOU want, and what do I want? It is quite possible that you and I have different views of the meaning of life and hope for different things for our children..."
I think that it is these different hopes and dreams that we as teachers need to learn about and help create and achieve.
Standards (oh yes I did...) are CRUSHING these hopes and dreams and it is all in the name of BIG business.
Consistency is the enemy of education!(Which makes PaCT (what is pact?) PURE eVil)
I think we should pride ourselves on being inconsistent.
I want my kid to get his own education - not the same one as the kids in his arbitrary reading group. For sure - stretch him and challenge him. Teach him how to voice politely that things seem irrelevant to him.
PLEASE Be inconsistent - show him that somedays things will not go to plan, somedays you'll be pissed off for no apparent reason, somedays you'll encourage one kid do something on the computer (when the day before you said NO to him). Somedays you'll reward a kid for doing something he did a week ago Somedays he'll be rewarded for something that he didn't actually find that difficult to do (writing often does this to us). It'll frustrate the hell out of him. Teach him how to deal with that kind of stuff. That's a relevant skill.
We need to ask ourselves EVERY SINGLE DAY...
WHY are we learning this?
AND (if you dare) start asking questions of teachers and schools who produce classes of children that are all at the same (desirable) level. What are you doing in there?