Has Donaldson Failed Welsh Education - Socpie.uk
Pasi Shalberg, the respected Finnish Educationalist, has referred to Pisa as a virus. The 2018 Pisa results illustrated that Michael Gove's attempts to radically reform the English educational system to become a top ranking Pisa was not achieved. There has now been a strong attack on the Scottish Government about its perceived unsatisfactory 2018 Pisa rankings, but there are concerns arising from the Scottish inspectorate about the quality of schooling in Scotland also.
The Welsh Government, who is about to implement it's version of the Scottish "Curriculum for Excellence" has claimed it wants to create world class teaching standards, but this may not necessarily translate into world class levels of attainment. The two are not the same. This is because the learning of potential of children is not equal and socio-economic status remains the most reliable predictor of children's attainment across the world.
There are increasing concerns that has arisen about the reliability of the Pisa assessments as has been argued on this website and on hgunn.uk. The Pisa results are essentially a lottery. Officially there is no separate Pisa score for Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or England. The recent Covid examinations fiasco illustrate that 'black box' alogrithms can have unknown anolomlies embedded in them.
B.B.C. Scotland contends that the problem in Scotland is that the Scottish Government does not want to be an average Pisa country. The evidence is that education remains a political football in Scotland. Pisa estimated average scores are marked to 1,000th of a degree. A Pisa point. The variation of the Scottish results is 1%. 1 point out of 100. Some of wordings and political attacks about the Scottish Pisa results are more than ridicolous.
John Sweeny Scottish Education Minister is now claiming he wants Scotland to reflect Finish education. Many countries, however, over the last decade have considered Finnish education. Pasi Shalberg explains that there are a whole range of reason why the Finish model cannot be transferred to other countries.
Dylan Wiliam, who lectures on education across the world, has quoted Pasi Salberg as claiming the reason why Finland's children do so well is that Finnish is a regular language to learn to read in and that the Finnish are avid readers. English is an irregular language and one of the most difficult to learn in the world. This why around 10% of the population has dyslexia.
Sue Garthercole of the Cambridge Institute of the Brain, which specialises on researching children' learning difficulties needs, has contended that there is no 'magic bullet' solution to resolving these children's learning difficulties. This is why politicians are constantly seeking to find to avoid the Pisa criticisms. There is no evidence it exists.
Dylan Wiliam refers to a whole raft of government initiatives that have failed. The most remarkable is the primary numeracy and literacy hours. A vast amount of time and research went into the initiative. It was viewed as being a commendable initiative, but it had a very marginal impact upon improving standards. This raises the issue of what can be done next to address the issue of basic skill attainment.
Are the Grounds for Concern about the Scottish Curriculum.
The "Curriculum for Excellence" promised to offer improving standards. It has not. This is no itself a reason for criticising the curriculum, but after ten years the curriculum should be achieving maturity. There is case for the Welsh Government to reconsider their proposed curriculum, before it is implemented.
A key report in February 2020 established that few schools in Scotland were rated excellent on key measures (Seith, 2020). This is in a curriculum that was introduced in 2010. Gayle Gordon, head of inspection curriculum development Education Scotland is quoted as saying:-
"Areas for improvement, said inspectors, included achieving consistently high-quality learning and teaching; continuing to improve the reliability and validity of teachers’ judgments about how well pupils were progressing; improving the monitoring and tracking of children’s and young people’s progress, skills and attainment over time; and the teaching of equality and diversity."
In South Korean parents inspect the quality of teaching. There is no evidence that any teaching was taking place in the Seoul School that children from Pembrokeshire learnt in on the 2016 B.B.C. "School Swap: South Korean Style" program. Inspectors actually see teachers teaching and witness children's learning in the United Kingdom. Unlike Andreas Schliecher, who only refers to children's comments in Pisa surveys and statistics arising from the Pisa assessments,school inspectors have face to face financial interactions with children.