Tuesday, July 20, 2010

empty papers

also 9/23/2002:

will students be prepared for exams with NPA [New Pedagogic Approach]?
  • kids are kids, they'll always cram before the exam
  • "do you remember everything on your A levels?"
  • assessment is a necessary evil of sorts (found in each educational system)
  • preparing students for life as you prepare them for exam
  • though we cannot necessarily assess life skills

...so we're in this meeting about the NPA. just us, GTTC teachers. looking to prepare ourselves for the seminar on thursday. it was entirely too long, inefficient and ineffective. our school really is a mess. and i'm tempted to tell the powers that be just so. but i'm back to biting my tongue. for better or for worse.

thinking about all this, i was caught off guard by the DS asking me about exams/assessment and if this approach (which she understood as being much like ours in the West) compromises student preparation for such exams. i said something to the effect of no. then regrouped myself. reference the notes above.

so i said what i had to say about accepting exams as necessary evils, if you will. working towards them, yes. but not losing sight of the overarching aim of education, imparting life-skills. critical/analytical thinking and good judgment. we can cater to both. basically what i said.

but the VP (who, rightfully or not, always has the last word) said something lofty and idealistic (as usual... the man talks the talk) about why we're forced to have to catch-up classes, use past GCE questions and generally work for exams. of course we work for exams! the system is set up (if not flawed) that way.

we can't expect students, teachers, admin and parents to want anything other than passing tests. "empty papers," as they VP calls our certificates or diplomas. as long as "empty papers" get you empty jobs and empty appointments, then people will do everything it takes to get them.

as long as our exams can be prepared for specifically as exams (i.e. preparing for the test itself without truly comprehending the material), then we will continue to have to cram our students' minds with school stuff night before each big test.

our only prayer is that we impart a little bit of wisdom with all that sterile information.

No comments:

Post a Comment