Trust teachers' judgment and stop bureaucratic fight

27th November 2009 at 00:00

The arguments about standardised testing in numeracy and literacy in basic education in Scotland, and how and when it should be introduced, are in danger of missing the point ("Heads scorn assessment plans", TESS last week).

For example, the Finns have a system whereby there is no national standardised testing, there are no school league tables or comparisons between school results and there is no competition to get into the "right" schools.

The result? In the most recent OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) in 2006, Finland scored in the top three in the world for each of the competencies in science, reading and mathematics, coming first, second and second respectively.

Finland trusts its teachers to teach and respects their ability to do so. Perhaps focusing on ensuring our schools and teachers are equipped to do their jobs properly, and investing our trust in their judgment apropos the Finnish system, would be a more constructive step than creating yet another bureaucratic battlefield.

Niall Mackenzie, research fellow, Centre for Business Research, Judge Business School, Cambridge University.

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