1 thought on “Parental Blogs

  1. With a daughter in S3 and another in P6, while at the same time masquerading as a Probationary teacher, I have similar issues with grades versus education. As a parent I want my younger child to do as well as possible in her National Assessments as she progresses through the Primary system. Experience with my older daughter showed me that Primary achievements directly affect the setting of S1 classes in subjects like Maths and English and this ultimately has a significant bearing on Secondary school achievement. The “better” the class, the more focused the teaching & learning and the easier it is to realise educational potential. Clearly there are exceptions, but my perception is that most parents would accept this stance.

    However from my limited teaching perspective so far I am not convinced that teaching Primary children so that they are best equipped to pass the National Assessments does the quality of their overall education any favours. While it does drive them on from one assessment level to another it loses opportunities for spontaneous learning. Time within the curriculum is so tight, and the focus ultimately on assessments means that taking time to explore topics in depth or tackling areas that children themselves have expressed an interest in become extremely difficult to achieve. To my mind there is a significant difference between education and knowledge. The ability to regurgitate facts may make you knowledgeable (eg a Mastermind winner or someone who can pass assessments!) but not necessarily educated. This has more to do with your disposition and what you do with your knowledge – hopefully something encapsulated in the Curriculum for Excellence.

    As both a parent and a teacher I look forward to a system that allows a more rounded education without sacrificing chances of final prospects.

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