Unite to change the system

12th August 2011 at 01:00

Improvements in the annual exam results (5 August) come at an educational cost. The Scottish Qualifications Authority, by default, dictates the curriculum in Scottish schools as teachers, under ever- increasing pressure to "improve" results, teach to the exams.

Teachers are demoralised by the constraints of the emphasis on documentation of assessment and an obsession with grades and passing exams. We require creative thinkers in educational management, rather than compliant clones of the existing flawed system. We require managers to challenge the system. An overloaded curriculum leaves no space for creativity. The development of creative thinking requires time for failure and experimentation.

Thinking for yourself and trying new ideas is a novelty for pupils and staff in our turgid, tightly controlled interpretation of Curriculum for Excellence. A tick-box mentality prevails in education and the pupils are being short-changed by the system.

If we are to move forward and address the problem, we must design a curriculum where teachers have greater freedom and the SQA measures what we teach, rather than the present system where we teach what they seek to measure.

Teachers, the few managers with guts, and parents who care should poke their heads above the educational parapet and fire a barrage to change the system.

William Smith, former PT art and design, Lochinver.

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