Michael Gove on A level exams …

Today I read on the BBC Education page that Michael Gove is indicating that ‘rigour’ is the important thing in exams. He comments that he wants to revive ‘the art of deep thought’.

I can remember, just, the essence of the A Levels I took all those years ago where I was simply required to ‘know’ things and then tell someone about them on paper. No deep thought there at that time … and this was the ‘gold standard’ – the halcyon years… dark hall, lined up outside, yes you will wear your uniform, examining pencil cases, old wooden desks in very straight rows, hot, hay fever, no drinks ….

He then goes on to say¬† … We need to ensure that the knowledge expected of A-level students is such that they can hit the ground running (at university)…

So it is knowledge then – not deep thought !!

In this freeing up of the curriculum and more choice etc I had hoped for a re-think on examination and assessment looking forward … not a backward wish for a past that does not fit a digital century. Can we please have a system that celebrates success rather than one which seems to put an emphasis on failure?

Attribution: Original image: ‘final exams

final exams

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