Testing isn’t evil, from Teach Meet Devon


On Thursday night I gave a short talk at Teach Meet Devon, held at Tavistock College. Below is a short summary of my thoughts on testing. I owe a great deal of gratitude to Daisy Christodolou in particular for her superb blogs on assessment.

Testing isn’t evil, but we like to think it is. Tests appear to be these monstrous, dehumanising, homogenising Borg-like Things From Planet Kinderhate!, their child-catching, freedom-sucking slimy, angular arms always looking for more ways to scratch tears into human children’s puppy-dog eyes. We have this weird, innate fear of tests, as if they’re some concrete-block, minimalist Soviet hangover, more Zemyatinian than Orwellian.

There’s the accusation that tests don’t tell us about the whole child, whatever that is, and that they’re artificial, that tests have no relevance in real life because you wouldn’t take a test in real life. Apart from the times when you might…

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