04/12/2013

Global Vision

I broke my glasses yesterday. No vision? More like vision through a single lens.

Broken glasses

At least, that's what it feels like reflecting on the media hype following the publication of the PISA international test results today. Much, in my view, misplaced soul-searching about slippage down the league tables. Park House, like many other UK schools, is a truly great place to learn; for a variety of reasons.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for standards. I understand accountability, and embrace it as a means of driving up standards. What gets me out of bed in the morning is the desire for our students to attain excellence in all that they do. But I do have an issue with being judged against educational systems which at least prima facie place students on a one-dimensional examination conveyer belt.

That's not a value judgement. As readers will note from previous blogs I've done enough work internationally to understand that all educational systems - and approaches to learning - need to be understood in their cultural context.

However, I genuinely believe the quote from Einstein - a man who knew something about numbers - that I used last week in prize giving when talking about the wider character of the year group.

'Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts'

I guess my message is, use both lenses - or even better get a pair of varifocals - and see learning in its widest sense.

Einstein a go go

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