24 Jun '14

News The exam industry encourages bad and lazy teaching: From the archive, 24 June 1964

Harry Davies, Director of the Institute of Education at Nottingham University, questions the effectiveness of the O-level examinationsAt this time of year thousands of 16-year-olds are undergoing ordeal by examination. Parents, employers, schools, and even the victims themselves are united in thinking that GCE "O" level is of earthshaking importance. The initiation ceremonies of primitive tribes have indeed evolved into something rich and strange. What is the purpose of this mass slaughter of the innocents?The quick answer is to satisfy the need for qualifications - for entry into a career, or to start the process of securing admission to higher education. Most employers are expecting a good all-round educational standard; apart from the sciences the subjects themselves have little direct use. Indeed, many professional bodies have already begun to prefer "A" level passes and have come to the sensible conclusion that "O" level guarantees little in the way of education. Continue reading...

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