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Mind the Gap Ken Smith Director-General Department of Education & the Arts, Queensland.

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Presentation on theme: "Mind the Gap Ken Smith Director-General Department of Education & the Arts, Queensland."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mind the Gap Ken Smith Director-General Department of Education & the Arts, Queensland

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5 Were not talking about Monkey Trials…

6 Types of assessment FormativeFormative SummativeSummative PunitivePunitive SedativeSedative

7 1.Tests and assessments are relatively inexpensive… 2.Testing and assessment can be externally mandated… 3.Testing and assessment changes can be rapidly implemented… 4.Results are visible. Test results can be reported to the press… policymakers can reasonably expect increases in scores in the first few years of a program … with or without real improvement (Linn 1994) Assessments appeal to policymakers as an agent of reform…

8 Help policymakers to judge the effectiveness of educational policiesHelp policymakers to judge the effectiveness of educational policies Improve policymakers ability to monitor school system performanceImprove policymakers ability to monitor school system performance Foster better allocation of state educational resourcesFoster better allocation of state educational resources Provide misleading information that leads policymakers to suboptimum decisionsProvide misleading information that leads policymakers to suboptimum decisions Foster a blame the victims spirit among policymakersFoster a blame the victims spirit among policymakers Encourage a simplistic view of education and its goalsEncourage a simplistic view of education and its goals Testings effects on Policymakers (Stecher 2002) Positive Negative

9 Responsiveness to local needs and diversityResponsiveness to local needs and diversity Pedagogical innovationPedagogical innovation Professional discretion and educational leadershipProfessional discretion and educational leadership Ideological neutralityIdeological neutrality Primacy of curriculumPrimacy of curriculum Portability and buying powerPortability and buying power Communicating expectations and achievementCommunicating expectations and achievement Motivating excellenceMotivating excellence Intellectual rigour and stretchIntellectual rigour and stretch Alignment of curriculum, assessment and reportingAlignment of curriculum, assessment and reporting Getting the balance right More testing? Less or less centralised testing More or more centralised testing

10 …when I went to school in Brisbane it was as if I had missed out on my primary education… I got straight As at Kowanyama but when I got to Brisbane I was getting Cs and Ds. … Education should be uplifting, not serve to reinforce lack of self-esteem and the heart wrenching low expectations that my mob suffer from. If we cannot get education right then we are doomed. – Tania Major, young Aboriginal leader, speaking to the Prime Minister 2003 Evaluation and aspiration

11 Evaluation and aspiration (OECD average) PISA: Aspirations and attainment correlate. (De Bortoli & Cresswell 2004)

12 The Pygmalion Effect We form certain expectations of people or events.We form certain expectations of people or events. We communicate those expectationsWe communicate those expectations with various cues. with various cues. People tend to respond to these cuesPeople tend to respond to these cues by adjusting their behaviour to match them. by adjusting their behaviour to match them. The result is that the original expectationThe result is that the original expectation becomes true. becomes true. This creates a circle of self-fulfilling prophecies.This creates a circle of self-fulfilling prophecies.

13 8 th place out of 11 7 th place out of 10 French: not very good Weak in geography Composition: very variable Grammar: fair Diligence: …very naughty Drawing: very elementary Winston Churchill 1883 – Guess who?

14 Oh bring back higher standards – the pencil and the cane – if we want education then we must have some pain. Oh, bring us back all the gone days. Yes, bring back all the past… lets put them all in rows again – so we can see whos last. …lets label all the good ones, well call them As and Bs – and well parcel up the useless ones and call them Cs and Ds. …Well even have an E lot! …an F or G maybe!! …so they can know theyre useless …and not as good as me. (Peter Dixon)

15 Assessment systems that are useful monitors lose much of their dependability and credibility for that purpose when high stakes are attached to them. The unintended negative effects of the high-stakes accountability uses often outweigh the intended positive effects. (Linn 2001a) Unintended effects

16 Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon. – E M Forster (Regurgitation in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the bucket.)

17 The Bloom Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (Cognitive Domain) Synthesis Analysis Application Knowledge Evaluation Thereductiontoknowledge Comprehension

18 Its Tuesday. This must be Algebra.

19 Hackney's schools worst again Schools in Hackney have been making progress Hackney in London, whose education service is now being run by a trust, is at the bottom of the primary school results tables - again. Hackney is the worst-performing local education authority - although results in its schools did improve, from an average aggregate score of 197 to 210.

20 Not everyone loves the King of the Sea… (Allan Luke 1999, 2001) a 45 minute primary lesson on Flipper, shared reading of stories of Flipper, pictures and videos of Flipper, worksheets and art work on Flipper. wonderfully orchestrated… wonderfully socially supportive environment… At the end of lesson, what had the kids gained? Flipper. Now thats what I mean by dumbing down of the curriculum.

21 The Queensland Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Framework (Years P–10 ) a defined essential curriculuma defined essential curriculum curriculum appropriate to local needscurriculum appropriate to local needs standards of achievement in essential curriculumstandards of achievement in essential curriculum bank of assessment tools linked to essential curriculum and standardsbank of assessment tools linked to essential curriculum and standards comparable assessment against standards at three key pointscomparable assessment against standards at three key points common reporting frameworkcommon reporting framework ongoing review and refinement of syllabusesongoing review and refinement of syllabuses

22 Rene Magritte: Clairvoyance, 1936

23 Mind the Gap Ken Smith Director-General Department of Education & the Arts, Queensland


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