Market forces warning garners mixed response
Thanks to Chris Husbands for raising issues arising from the examinations and qualifications market place. In the same issue, Rod Bristow (president of Pearson UK, the publisher and owner of Edexcel) writes that there is no conflict between its commercial aims and its "commitment to education".
Neither Husbands nor Bristow mention what to some teachers and academics in the Geographical Association is an insidious development in the examinations business. This is the appearance of specification-specific textbooks, often written or edited by examiners or chief examiners of such specification. There is boundless evidence that this discourages students and teachers from reading widely and thinking deeply about what they are learning and teaching. "Standards" may continue to rise, but does "education" improve? Would Pearson's "commercial arm" have a view on this, I wonder?
Dr David Lambert, Professor of geography education and chief executive, Geographical Association, Sheffield.