Don’t try and sell us a fixed mindset!


The UK coalition government has recently proposed two specific changes to education. The first is the formal testing of all children at the age of five; the second is the proposal that all 11 year-old pupils be ranked academically against their peers. Both proposals have invited hostility, with opponents suggesting that such policies work to undermine the confidence of less able pupils and place too much emphasis on test taking. Nevertheless, the argument is that in order to ‘raise the bar’ educators should be made aware of those children who perhaps need help towards reaching (and hopefully exceeding) minimum standards in core academic abilities and those children who need stretching and challenging in order to fulfil their true potential.

All of this does make a certain amount of sense, unless, of course, rankings are used in order to separate the ‘wheat from the chaff’ in a manner reminiscent of the…

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