Welcome to my blog and my first post.
Let’s start at the beginning – why call the blog ‘pencil and paper test’?
You’ve got David Cameron to thank for that.
I heard him speak at one of his ‘sleeves rolled up, man of the people, Cameron in the round’ events. I was amazed at what he got away with. He was talking to a group of parents and students – they were quizzing him about education. His answers were an intriguing blend of man-down-the-pub, back-to-basics, why-can’t-we-just?, good-old-days, like-we-used-to and, you guessed it, ‘traditional’ which struck me as being almost entirely without any genuine insight into what is good about our education system, what is bad and what needs to be done to make it better than it is.
This culminated in a reply to a questioner who wanted to know what he would do to change schools if he was the top dog. The questioner was particularly concerned about the amount of testing and the weight it is given in the assessment of the quality of any given school.
To this, Cameron blinked, called the questioners by his name, made an endearing remark about a child nearby and said “what we need to do is to go back to when I was at school when we had a paper and pencil test”. And that was pretty much it. It made me think:
1) Is that really the extent of his analysis after 13 years of a Government he says has failed on almost every count?
2) The children in my class do tests. And they use a pencil. Or a pen. They also have calculators and rulers and protractors and rubbers and tracing paper and all sorts of other new-fangled bits and pieces. So, what on earth does he mean?
3) If Cameron is our leader (as he now is), this is going to be interesting. I should write a blog.
And this, dear readers, is it.