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?”.