Analogue or Digital?

I had a conversation a while ago with a Deputy Head who’d been a PE teacher.  He was fixated on Data:  every bit of classwork had to have a level, every test, and every piece of homework.

I said to him, “When you pick your first 11, do you consult your mark book, or trust your instinct?”

A good teacher knows their students’ capabilities.  And no matter how much data is collected, it will always remain a poor pixelated image of the reality.

Which is why there was fairly widespread dismay last year about the 8% discrepancy between what English teachers had adjudged students’ work to be worth, and the marks they were awarded.  Not that the marking criteria is cut-and-dried – even with rubrics – but teachers know their students’ abilities,  and 8% is a big deal,  especially when it’s the difference between a D and a C.

Does this obsession with labeling, quantifying and leveling really benefit the student?  Isn’t it enough to say to them, “I liked this, this and this,  and have you thought about [doing] this or that?”.

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