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Andrea Des Forges's discussion posts

  • Andrea Des Forges 12 Mar 2017 11:36am () in Measuring growth and achievement...

    Thanks Leigh

    I'll definitely look into that.


  • Andrea Des Forges 11 Mar 2017 9:59am () in Measuring growth and achievement...

    I am so happy that this is being talked about. I teach New Entrants and it is disheartening for me to be expected to inform parents of children who are 5 and a half that their child is below in literacy or numeracy. Below what!!! Some arbitrary level that has nothing to do with the challenges of starting school. I have listened to TED talks about the way education needs to develop in order to prepare our students for our changing world. How companies are looking for innovative thinkers. I have listened to speakers at teacher only days echo this sentiment, often somewhat smugly, that teaching is no longer about students seated at desks in rows. We come together in staff meetings and agree that we want our students to be creative, cooperative, empathetic, problem solving critical thinkers who are excited by learning. And yet here we are again beating ourselves up because we have students who are below in writing and our inquiries have to be around increasing the percentage of children from below to at. AAAAAAARGH!

    I have a son with Aspergers. He hardly ever got an at in his entire primary or intermediate school education. National Standards never made a difference to his learning. I remember being told once that he was learning at the best of his ability. As his abilities are not so easily measured by testing, they are often undervalued. But I am understanding of the pressure teachers are under to get children to the at of National Standards and it's easier to pop children like my son into the below or well below box and leave it at that.

    I like to think that many years ago, when I first started teaching (and my children were not in rows then either!) that my goal was to get to know my students abilities, strengths, interests and whanau. I was taught as a beginning teacher that we take children from where they are now and work hard to help them progress from there. I would tell parents that we don't compare the children but look at their learning as individuals. I was always proud of that. Perhaps that was just my experience but I feel that National Standards has been like a weight that has pulled against the positive flow of change.