Great At The Game. The Right Game?

Within the education field, there are some who believe that the only things worth measuring or caring about are those that can be measured. To them, data is everything. Their logic suggests that if you can’t reduce something to hard data, then it probably doesn’t really matter in education.

The result of this mindset is articles like this:

The Washington Post: This Company Says It Can Predict Whether A Teacher Will Be Any Good – Before Entering A Classroom

Quite simply – what they’re saying is that they can isolate the features of those teachers who are capable of getting children to score higher on standardised tests, identify those attributes in prospective teachers and thereby short-circuit the recruitment process.

Of course, their whole premise is based upon the idea that ability to get children to get high scores in standardised tests is the most (only?) important attribute of a teacher. To my mind, this is so dangerous as to be daunting. Worse, it can look to the public like it makes sense – who won’t be tempted by those who promise that their children will get better exam results and as a result have better higher education prospects, better work and professional potential and even a better life.

Who cares for the skills and competencies of the twenty first century? Just because you can simplify our profession down to one or two simple measures, doesn’t mean that’s wise or moral.

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