Beyond Levels Part Three: developing a mixed constitution

Clio et cetera

The ideal model, or the mixed constitution? The ideal model, or the mixed constitution?

Assessment is always going to be an imperfect tool. Gaming the system will always be possible; students can cram for tests and then forget things that they really should remember; a test, necessarily, tells us only part of the bigger picture. Part of the problem with assessment, I think, is that we aim for the one perfect system: National Curriculum levels, at least in their deployment,  are supposed to provide us with a ‘cradle-to-grave’ (well, not quite) system that we can use to assess pupils throughout their schooling.

Aristotle famously wrote on this problem, though in the context of politics and not education. The ideal form of government may well be that of monarchy in which a virtuous, benevolent individual rules in the best interests of his people. The problem, according to Aristotle, is that this model is easily corrupted into tyranny, where…

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