Formative teaching is no quick fix

8th August 2008 at 01:00

Yes, teachers could use formative teaching and learning, as Professor Boyle and Marie Charles suggest (Letters, August 1) - and some are trying hard to do just that. But, faced with the "bean counters", it gets difficult if you believe that the spotlight should be on learning and curricular targets, rather than levels and numerical targets.

Research has shown that too much emphasis on grades and levels may promote the wrong kind of motivation, one where the focus is on performance rather than mastery. It is my belief that if you concentrate on the learning and involve pupils fully in the assessment process, then the levels take care of themselves.

I do think, though, that there is still a place for tests - though not of the "high-stakes" variety - to check that pupils are learning in a deeper way and retaining that learning over time.

Dr Valerie Hayes, Mathematics Teacher, Minster-on-Sea, Sheerness, Kent.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now