Dumbing down answers to get A* grades

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  • Dumbing down answers to get A* grades
  • Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    Large section in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance about the impact of studying for grades on the quality of learning.

    Well worth a read. It’s about 3/5ths through, I think.

    lucien
    Member

    Ned – and the rest of the book will do your ‘ed in. Read it at least 6 times now, and each time something else stands out and provokes deep thought….

    Aristotle
    Member

    nedrapier – Member

    Large section in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance about the impact of studying for grades on the quality of learning.

    Well worth a read. It’s about 3/5ths through, I think.

    The first 2/3 are worth a read. I didn’t finish it.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    I suspect there is a certain amount of truth that teaching to the exam is not the best way to teach a subject.

    I also think there is a hell of a lot of fantasy about the state of education 30 or 50 or more years ago. The past is a false utopia that never existed.

    lucien
    Member

    The first 2/3 are worth a read. I didn’t finish it.

    – IS that a very clever answer Aristotle?

    bwaarp
    Member

    Schhool was never designed to produce independent minds – it’s designed to create ‘well adjusted’ behaved citizens.

    Think of exams and grades like teaching a puppy to sit for you using dog treats.

    titusrider
    Member

    go see Alan bennett- the History boys

    All about teaching for exams

    Aristotle
    Member

    lucien – Member

    The first 2/3 are worth a read. I didn’t finish it.

    – IS that a very clever answer Aristotle?
    Not particularly clever, but I got to about 3/4s before filing it in my bookshelf. I’ve never gone back to it.

    lucien
    Member

    In the book – There is a massive internal conflict (in the main characters mind) between Aristotle & Socrates, hence the comment and in light of your user-name.
    You are obviously mega clever, you just don’t know it! 😀

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    represents the culmination of years of what I’ve always called ‘the cult of mediocrity’.

    Is this something that’s going to be in the news soon? Only I’ve never heard of it.

    geetee1972
    Member

    Is this something that’s going to be in the news soon? Only I’ve never heard of it.

    Yeah yeah, very funny 😀 I never said it was an original idea (just like sarcasm isn’t an original concept 😉 ). People can come up with ideas of their own accord and find that lots of other people have reached the same conclusion as well. It’s what gives ideas credence.

    I think this has always been the case to a certain extent but the situation now, if it is true, represents the culmination of years of what I’ve always called ‘the cult of mediocrity’.

    How would you create a mark scheme which accommodates and rewards novel answers and still ensures that markers all over the country would mark it in the same way?

    I suspect there is a certain amount of truth that teaching to the exam is not the best way to teach a subject.

    Well, that would very much depend on what the test was wouldn’t it. Teaching to the driving test works quite well.

    Teaching for exams isn’t perfect, but its the best we’ve got given our limited resources. Like it or not, there needs to be some way of comparing people against each other. What great way of doing things is there to replace them?

    If people are clever enough to come up with novel and unique answers in exams, i’m sure they can adapt to throw in a few buzzwords too. Its not just something that happens at school either, like it or not, it occurs in business and science too (and magazine reviews!).

    geetee1972
    Member

    This is a story on the BBC’s website based on a report by the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference.

    This comment in particular is very interesting:

    “Heads will say our most able pupils who don’t use the buzz words don’t get the top grades – but they produce the most novel and insightful answers. The markers can’t accommodate the originality of their answers.

    “And the most depressing thing for a teacher with a high calibre of pupil is to coach the most able pupils on dumbing down their answers to get an A*,” he said.

    I think this has always been the case to a certain extent but the situation now, if it is true, represents the culmination of years of what I’ve always called ‘the cult of mediocrity’.

    It’s not just schools where this is the case. The workplace is rife with it as well.

    Well worth a read. It’s about 3/5ths through, I think.

    The first 2/3 are worth a read. I didn’t finish it.

    3 marks to anyone who can work out whether or not Aristotle reached the part to which nedrapier refers.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    This grade inflation business … my daughter’s in yr 8 – she’s turning out homework of a standard way above what I used to and also more useful in “real” life

    I suspect she’ll be doing great coursework by the time o-levels come round, assuming it’s still required. Terminal exam suited me down to the ground – piss about for 3 years and then cram for a test – but I didn’t learn many skillz

    As far as regurgitating keywords to get the marks is concerned, always gone on IMO. “Par un beau journee de printemps”, anyone ? Our entire class started every french essay with that (or possibly the correct version; it’s been a while)

    glupton1976
    Member

    “The Cult of Mediocrity and the Wako Kid” That sounds like a brilliant name for an album.

    geetee1972
    Member

    “The Cult of Mediocrity and the Wako Kid” That sounds like a brilliant name for an album.

    Never heard of it

    “The Cult of Mediocrity and the Wako Kid” That sounds like a brilliant name for an album.

    Meh, it’s all right.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    Well, that would very much depend on what the test was wouldn’t it. Teaching to the driving test works quite well

    You appear to have missed the winky face of the end of that statement, some may not realise it was irony.

    glupton1976
    Member

    Teaching to the driving test is a horrendous idea. I dont know of a single instructor who does that and I sincerely hope that none exist who do.

    Teaching to the driving test is a horrendous idea. I dont know of a single instructor who does that and I sincerely hope that none exist who do.

    That may be your view, however, it doesn’t negate the prior statement.

    scuzz
    Member

    That may be your view, however, it doesn’t negate the prior statement.

    To be honest, given the lack of supporting evidence presented with the prior statement, there’s not much to negate… 😉

    To be honest, given the lack of supporting evidence presented with the prior statement, there’s not much to negate

    Now then, this is not the kind of statement which needs evidence is it? It’s a logical argument.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Exams are a measure of mediocrity though, school level exams give indications of basic grasps of subjects, there’s no need for them to reflect sparkling brilliance, there’s no need to have that certified.

    The issue with grade inflation always perplexes me. Surely the point of an exam is to set a standard and the job of a school is to try and ensure all of their pupils can try and attain it. If they succeed in that ( and the tools they have achieve that are better than they’ve ever been) then the exam is criticised rather than the schools and pupils praised. There’s a mind set that there has to be losers so that people who pass appear to have won.

    scuzz
    Member

    Now then, this is not the kind of statement which needs evidence is it? It’s a logical argument.

    *ahem* Many apologies *ahem*

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