Soulless monster

11th July 2008 at 01:00
Congratulations to Professor Paul Black for remaining so polite when giving his measured comments on the Government's version of Assessment for Learning (AfL) ("Every school to get a champion of assessment for learning", TES, June 20)
Congratulations to Professor Paul Black for remaining so polite when giving his measured comments on the Government's version of Assessment for Learning (AfL) ("Every school to get a champion of assessment for learning", TES, June 20). The excellent body of work carried out by him and others describes an approach to teaching and learning that encourages pupil involvement in the assessment process and a focus on learning rather than levels.

True AfL, far from pressurising pupils and stifling creativity, has been shown to have a positive effect on both cognitive and affective outcomes. The Government's version, with its obsessive focus on national curriculum levels rather than learning, is the antithesis of this approach.

The Government has hacked the soul out of an excellent pedagogical approach, and it is saddening that if this corruption is made statutory, it will be impossible to implement true AfL in our schools.

We must make the distinction between true AfL and the soulless monster the Government has created.

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

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