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Mike Fleetham Mike's Thinking Classroom Blog

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The error in how we value our children

This error is easily fixed.

Here's how we publicly and offically value our learners from age 3 to 5:

By teacher assessment of their
attitudes and dispositions; 
emotional development;
social development;
communication, language, literacy
problem solving, reasoning, numeracy
knowledge of the world
Physical development
creative development

Here's how we publicly and officially value our learners aged 11:

By written tests and teacher assessment of their
Literacy
Numeracy

Here's how we publicly and officially value our learners aged 16:

By written exam and controlled coursework of a string of imposed and chosen subjects

Here's how we publicly and officially value our learners in the world of work:
By employer appraisal against job-specific criteria

EYFS have got it right. The foundation stage profile should progress right through a learner's life. Emotional development doesn't stop. Creative development always grows. Knowledge of the world expands and diversifies into the humanities.

Each thread of the EYFS profile weaves itself into the cloth that becomes a worthwhile and valuable human being. Let the cloth grow. Don't cut it off to make a nice pair of curtains.

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Comments


20 August 2010 11:26

I heartily agree! I teach year 2 and still have a statutory requirement to 'administer' the KS1 SATs tests to 6 and 7 year old children.... Eugh! Sounds like medicine! I do this as sensitively as possible, in small groups. What do the test results tell me? NOTHING I don't already know. Let's look at the whole child not just their ability with Literacy or Numeracy. I have just taught a little girl who struggled with reading and writing but was the most caring and empathatic child - also a gifted artist. Luckily my school recognises emotional intelligence and she recieved the award for being caring and considerate.

20 August 2010 17:13

'Administer'; 'deliver'; 'assess' - valuable point here jg - how the language de-personalises our children.

I always find it ironic that countries such as China (where schools supposedly aspire to churn out clones) have the best uptake of inclusive pedagogies such as Multiple Intelligences - there are over 100 titles in chinese on MI - yet in the west we somehow still expect all chidlren to wear the same shoes and walk along the same street.

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