Saturday, November 03, 2007

My comments yesterday about the testing tyranny brought the following response from Richard Bazeley in Australia:
The biology teacher at school who is a similar age to me was telling me how he was tested at the end of primary school. Grade six here in Oz. The result of the test determined which school he was sent to. In his case the High school for an academic education and on to University and teaching. Other students who were maybe not so good at Math or English were sent to the Technical school for a career in the trades. I cannot recall doing a test but the students at my primary school had a similar fate although I had always believed that it was based on the choice of the parents. Later they closed down most of the technical schools and amalgamated them with the High schools. For many a path was chosen very early on.
I am curious how they would determine that that age would be the sorting point. Some of us are late bloomers. I began my writing career two years before I hit 50. My mother published her first book at the age of 79. We know with children that some few start walking at 8 months and some delay that experience until after they hit 16 months. There is a developmental sequence and range within which there are huge variables, and children aren't clocks. The time-line of the process of maturation for each of us differs and differs widely. Testing that doesn't take into consideration the wide ranging variables of individual human development is destructive beyond measure.

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