Can we measure the more intangible but more important outcomes with tests?
- Curiosity and wonder about the world
- Formulation of ideas, dreams and goals
- Ability to socialise and communicate
- Determination to overcome difficulties
- Fresh, creative writing
- Ability to think logically and problem solve
- Children’s ability to empathise with others and ability to manage their own strong feelings
- A feeling of self-worth and optimism?
Of course we can’t! You need careful observations and skilled teachers and parents to identify the above qualities.
All teachers know how important the above outcomes are to children’s lives and yet we concentrate on such a narrow band of abilities.
Why do we think education is always about measurable results?
Why are we so scared of aspects of education we cannot pin down?
A good education is so much more than the results in the areas that NAPLAN measures.
Once again, children are being likened to machines that just need information rammed in tightly.
NAPLAN completely ignores the fact that children have at least 8 intelligences. Children who lack skills in maths and literacy feel like complete failures.
We see children with amazing art ability and aptitude for thinking deeply and logically. We see children who know so much about science and have “out of the box” ideas for helping our environment. These kids are still consigned to the rubbish heap.
We have not come very far!
So many years and so little progress!
“Now, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts; nothing else will ever be of any service to them.”
― Charles Dickens, Hard Times
The money spent on the development and administration of NAPLAN could so easily have been provided to schools for extra teachers, resources and ongoing professional development of teachers. That would have contributed to long lasting benefits for all Australian children!
Charles Dickens had it right- “There is a wisdom of the head, and… there is a wisdom of the heart.” – Hard Times
Hard Times ahead for education if we don’t get our heads out of the sand and stop applying flawed pedagogical principles to the education process!