Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Exams should go before coursework does

Alan Johnson's recent announcement to axe maths GCSE coursework and have all other coursework done under strict supervision is a major step backwards. The concept that years and years of study can be compressed into a one-hour exam is not only unfair towards students but it leads to schools teaching how to pass an exam, rather than inspiring students in their subject.The boring repetition of material dulls children's minds and instead of enthusing them to continue with higher education causes them to drop out at sixteen with a few GCSEs or in worrying high numbers of cases, with no GCSEs at all.

If our education system treated young people as adults letting them work on their own and made them want to learn more about their subject, more would stick with education. New Labour can crow "education education education" but at the end of the day with youth crime on the rise, what do they have to show for it?

3 comments:

B said...

On balance, I agree with you. However, coursework has acute difficulties at GCSE level, and children should still be expected to display basic levels of actual knowledge.

Tristan said...

I wonder why the education secretary is making such decisions.
There are multiple GCSE courses, schools should choose ones without coursework if they think that's best.

Then again, the incentives are all wrong, high results in exams are valued above actual education at the moment which encourages teachers to cheat...

Auberius said...

As Mark Steel once said, Labour saying their top priorities in government are Education, Education, Education is like Thatcher saying her top priorities in government are Mining, Mining, Mining...