Tests-and-targets culture lowers pupils' self-esteem, claims report
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Sunday 13 April 2014
Children are gripped by a fear of failure as a result of the emphasis on target-setting in schools, according to a report out today.
A survey of almost 1,000 teachers by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers claims that the target-setting culture does little to improve pupils' grades or raise standards – but it does leave them stressed and anxious, and lowers their self-esteem.
It has also prompted more "teaching to the test" – with 60 per cent of teachers acknowledging that they prioritise learning methods geared to better test results, and 36 per cent saying they spend as much time as possible getting their pupils to practise taking tests.
Furthermore, 58 per cent of teachers say that, when it comes to encouraging creativity during lessons, they have less time to spend – and 26 per cent say they have no time at all for bringing out their pupils' creativity.
One secondary school teacher from the East Riding of Yorkshire told the study's researchers: "Pre-targets, my students left school as well-rounded individuals with skills that prepared them for the next stage of their lives: now they just leave with a qualification."
"An over-emphasis on target-setting is having a hugely detrimental effect on children's education," said Dr Mary Boustead, the general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: "We totally agree that education should not be an endless treadmill of revision and testing. That is why we are scrapping modules and January assessments to end constant exams and ensure pupils develop an in-depth and lasting understanding of a subject.
"The new national curriculum is also far less prescriptive and has almost halved in size, allowing teachers to use their creativity to shape the curriculum to meet the needs of their pupils."
Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
Saudi Arabia's King Salman sacks senior aide for 'slapping' a journalist behind him live on TV
Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show
- 1 Morgan Freeman on the riot-focused coverage of the Baltimore protests: 'F**k the media'
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Length of pregnancy can vary by up to five weeks, scientists discover
£30 - 40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Solutions Consultan...
£30 - 35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£40000 - £48000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Linux ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrat...