Fence Sitters Need Not Apply

Our education systems have to change and they are changing. There are new models being developed all over the world. But for the majority, they cannot break the umbilical cord connecting them to irrelevant exam systems. Within the purple circle (as illustrated in the image), lies the current & massive dilemma. 

Until governments are prepared to break the connection between the old and new, maintained by retaining the reliance on the old standard-based assessments – there will be continued angst as we are literally stuck between two worlds. 

The answer is already clear, as research and experience has shown, standards-based approaches that have underpinned national exams and other assessment strategies, do not lead to sustained improvements in educational outcomes. They highlight that it is possible for the brain to retain facts and knowledge in short term memory – but for what purpose?

We need to cut the link and find new ways of developing a holistic credential, based on portfolios and other creative means. The future is already here – the time to act is now!

Stephen Harris Co-founder Our Dream School (www.ourdream.school)

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