Progress

goalsFollowing extensive research Professor Steve Strand found that ‘there may well be substantial influences beyond the school gates such as variation in the economic and social capital of families, the home learning environment, educational aspirations, neighbourhood or peer effects and other factors outside school which affect learning.’

Professor Robin Alexander has written about similar issues related to PISA.  ‘it’s on the performance of students that the performance of everyone else – teachers, schools, education systems, national policies – is judged. PISA panic has indeed placed a heavy burden of responsibility on today’s 15-year olds.’

I wonder why teachers are being held accountable?  Perhaps people who judge should take account of the words of three wise men:

  • Steven Strand, (Oxford University):  ‘learning is difficult and complex, and rarely aligned to one single explanation’
  • Robin Alexander (Cambridge University, York University, Warwick University)  Students will not learn to think for themselves if their teachers are expected merely to do as they are told.
  • Guy Claxon, (Bristol University): ‘learning is a slow and uncertain process’

If you want to read more from them, here are the links:

Steve Strand, (2014) School effects and ethnic, gender and socio-economic gaps in educational achievement at age 11. Oxford Review of Education, 40, (2), 223-245

Robin Alexander:  http://www.robinalexander.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Alexander-Malmo-140204.pdf

Guy Claxton:  http://buildinglearningpower.co.uk/read_about_blp.html

There are also three blogs on education which you may find interesting:

  1. The progress myth’:   http://sigplus.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/the-progress-myth.html
  2. Lies, damned lies and educational statistics:   https://disidealist.wordpress.com
  3. Education Data Lab:   http://www.educationdatalab.org.uk/getattachment/Blog/March-2015/Seven-things-you-might-not-know-about-our-schools/EduDataLab-7things.pdf.aspx
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