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Posted by Alex Ford on 16 September 2012 - 11:23 AM
What do we want GCSEs to tell us? For me I think the main indicators are: Grade C - a student has a basic competence in a subject - it is a "pass" - surely we want to aim for every student to achieve this! Grade A+ - shows a student has an aptitude for a subject - suggests that they would do well with continued study - a "distinction" - I am quite happy for this to be limited to certain proportions as this is more about appropriate choices post 16. We should therefore welcome a grade inflation at grade C, although the main reason for this at the moment is league tables - unless we remove this measure of "success" the Gove Level will be perverted and debased in exactly the same way.
There are 2 main problems with GCSE at the moment. GCSEs are not too easy (not in history at least) - most papers are actually too hard in History - an A* grade of 68% this year in AQA medicine suggests that 5% of students or less hit this mark. One major issue is that exam boards have not been accountable for setting good quality papers. UMS means that papers like the one above still produced the requisite normal curve but the raw mark conversions were laughable: A*=68%, A=60%, B=52%, C=46% etc. If good students were only getting around 52% on the paper then it was fundamentally too hard. Of course UMS means that this can be smoothed over. Compare those figures to A2 where an A grade was 83%, B was 73% and C was 63% and the difference is very stark. The worst part is that good students will be put off by badly made papers and weak students will find them almost wholly inaccessible. UMS is the rotten core of GCSE.
The other major issue is that teachers are still in many cases trying to guess the test and give kids technique. Now there is nothing wrong with teaching to the test IF the test is a natural extension of the learning and helps to develop core conceptual skills. We do this in KS3 all the time! The problem lies in the fact that externally set exams end up being tacked on to the end of a teacher driven course. An externally set exam cannot reap the same benefit as an exam which is designed into the course from the very start. Year on year teachers play "guess what the examiner was thinking". And year after year, good students are penalised by examiners who know less about the course than the students themselves. This cannot be right! There are alternatives - Queensland, Australia have a system of school driven, but externally moderated exams http://www.qsa.qld.e...ess_qld_sys.pdf. This radically reprofessionalises teaching and places examination back into the hands of teachers who can then carefully build it into their courses. Naturally, this has knock on impacts for teaching load and time but surely it must be a better way to assess. Universities of course always assess in this manner. If the issue is not trusting teachers, then more money needs to be spent on training and real pedagogical development, rather than pumping money into gimmicks and short term fixes.
The point of this rant? Gove's reforms are tackling a sick system of examination, but the medicine they prescribe will not and cannot cure the illness! Only a radical rethinking of examination will be enough to really put British examinations back on top of the world.
Posted by Sally Thorne on 11 May 2011 - 10:27 PM
Here's an example from a lesson I did entitled "What did Gandhi think of the British Empire?" for year 8 -
I can answer the lesson question and am prepared to use that answer when we complete the unit assessment.
Bronze: I can describe who Gandhi was and what he thought of the British Empire
Silver: I can explain how Gandhi felt about the Empire and why he felt that way
Gold: I can explain how and why Gandhi's opinion might differ from a British diplomat's
I don't ever make them write them down, either, or stick them in. I feel quite strongly that this is A Bad Thing. But, I have the box with this info in on all my slides and refer back to it lots.
Posted by Craig on 31 March 2010 - 09:47 AM
Let me know
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Posted by Ed Podesta on 17 September 2012 - 08:46 PM
Posted by Ed Podesta on 16 September 2012 - 05:49 AM
Posted by DaveStacey on 09 September 2012 - 10:11 AM
As well as the exam board inset I would also try and get on a 'teaching at A Level' inset. I went on a couple by a company called dragonfly when I was in my first couple of years of teaching and they were very good. I'm sure other people will suggest others they found useful.
A final suggestion would be to go and observe teachers around the school who have a reputation for good A Level teaching. Ask your Mentor to suggest some people, and also ask if the school would provide cover for your lessons to facilitate this.
AS/A2 History Teaching
The Student As Teacher
Essay Writing Skills at AS Level
History Post -16
One final thought - if you try and do everything at once you will become overwhelmed and do nothing well. I know the temptation to try and 'get it perfect' - in the end though an overly stressed teacher is an ineffective teacher. PIck one thing. Try it, evaluate it, adopt, adjust or ditch. Then pick the next thing.
Posted by stephanie on 09 September 2012 - 08:50 AM
But focus on lots of games, and fun, and role play, and group activities, just as you would at any other stage.
You might find that they like the security of lots of 'notes' - but I always found that I could get round this by printing sheets of 'notes' for their folders for them so that we could do more active stuff.
Above all though, just teach in a way that suits you to start with, and that you can cope with, and you'll find that as your confidence grows and as you get to know your students more, your teaching will evolve to 'fit' them.
Of course you feel out of your depth - you've never done this before! So just concentrate on the two steps ahead of you and don't worry about the whole journey.
There is a brilliant book about teaching history at A Level, the name and author escape me - and I've lent my copy to someone! I'm sure someone on here will remember. I'll post back when it pops into my head as it's sure to do
Posted by Geoff Thomas on 17 June 2012 - 02:16 PM
it looks even more like a dating site.
You mean (gulp) History isn't about dates?
Posted by Mark H. on 14 June 2012 - 07:39 PM
Posted by DHartley on 27 March 2012 - 03:17 PM
I have also attached a KS3 grid I have been using for the past few years which goes in each students folder of assessed work. By shading in what they get for each piece of work, it visually displays their achievement over the key stage.
- KS3 Assessmentgrid.doc 128KB 330 downloads
Posted by Anne Piper on 22 October 2012 - 02:43 PM