Posts Tagged ‘Exams’

Teacher Strip Searches Students in a Bid to Catch them Cheating

May 28, 2013

exam

I abhor cheating of any kind, but there are some things I detest even more than cheating, such as humiliation and abuse:

High school students suspected of cheating on final exams were subjected to a strip-search by their teacher who was looking for a missing cell phone.

An internal investigation is underway at Cap-Jeunesse High School, in Saint-Jerome, Quebec, regarding the May 24 incident which involved 28 students.

According to reports, during a math exam, the teacher asked all the students to hand in their cellphones to avoid cheating.

When it was discovered that one was missing, she allegedly stopped the exam and ordered each girl into another room where they were strip searched, according to reports.

One teenage girl, who did not want to be named, told QMI Agency: ‘They put us in a small room. They said “take off your bra, then raise your arms”. They even tapped us on the back.’

The school board said the principal was not told of the incident.

The parents of the students involved were later contacted and the situation was explained.

Spokeswoman for the school Nadyne Brochu told Sun News that it was a ‘disproportionate action under the circumstances’.

The school board said  that ‘the decision seemed best’ to the teacher at that time but later acknowledged she ‘lacked judgement’.

They also acknowledged that the ‘climate was not conducive to a good test’ so they were allowed to retake the test if they wanted.

It is not known if any of the teachers involved will face disciplinary action.

‘Disproportionate action’? “Lacking judgement’? Talk about an understatement! If I was the parent of one of these students I would take legal action.

The Courage of Overcoming Multiple Failures

February 20, 2013

drive

I suspect that this news article is intended to belittle a man who has failed his drivers test 107 times. Be that as it may, I prefer to look at it as an inspiring account of a person with incredible resilience and stamina who is determined to overturn an endless cycle of failures:

Many of us know someone who has struggled to pass their driving test. But spare a thought for the hapless learner who has set a record for failure.

The unnamed 28-year-old, from London, has flunked the car theory test 107 times and is still yet to pass.

They have so far spent £3,317 trying to pass the exam, which costs £31 a time. The test includes a 57-minute multiple choice exam, with a pass mark of 43 out of 50, and a hazard perception test with a pass mark of 44 out of 75.

Once you’ve passed both parts of the theory, there’s still the practical to overcome.

One determined 40-year-old logged a record number of practical driving tests – passing on his 37th attempt. The unnamed man, from Stoke-on-Trent, forked out at least £2,294 trying to pass – which could have paid for a reasonable second-hand car.

The practical test costs £62 to take on a weekday or £75 for a test on an evening, weekend or bank holiday.

An AA Driving School spokesman said: ‘This is an unusually high number of test attempts, but it is important to remember that everyone learns at their own pace. Their determination to pass highlights how important learning to drive is to most people.

‘It is a milestone that many people aspire to achieving because of the freedom and independence it brings.’

Innovative Way to Stop Exam Cheating

June 16, 2012

Do you ever get the feeling nobody trusts you?

we(often)learnhere

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Too Many Tests, Not Enough Teaching

March 30, 2012

The rise of standardised testing has replaced authentic teaching and learning with a saturation of practise and formal testing:

SATURATION testing is seriously undermining the quality of primary school education and should be stopped immediately, parents and educators claimed yesterday.

Thousands of kids are subjected to trial exams every week in the lead up to the compulsory Naplan tests, as well as exams for opportunity classes or selective high schools, and coaching by private tutors.

But while Naplan, which forms the basis of performance ratings on the My School website, focuses on literacy and numeracy, experts claim they are being “taught to the test” at the expense of other areas such as arts, physical education and music.

With the barrage of testing beginning in kindergarten, education consultant and public schools principals’ forum official Brian Chudleigh said the system was “out of control” and skewing education in the wrong direction. A former senior principal who is the education expert for The Daily Telegraph’s People’s Plan, Mr Chudleigh said the testing regime was contributing to a “massive dysfunction” in the state’s education system.

“We have become a system that is manic about measurement – the main problem is that it is so convenient for the politicians,” he said. “They want to reduce things to the value of a percentile or a number, and that has an impact on education.

“If a kid can’t be measured they don’t want to know about it.

“It reduces the value of anything that you can’t measure and the curriculum becomes focused on the measurable stuff,” Mr Chudleigh said.

“So the development of the whole child – including socialisation, emotional welfare, physical fitness and cultural factors – are relegated in importance.

“Many schools are having two or three lessons every week practising Naplan-style tests and that takes valuable teaching time away from other subjects. A lot of the best stuff we do with kids, particularly in primary school, is not measurable.

“It’s out of control. But our universities are littered with these kids who don’t do as well there as the generally all-round educated students.”

Federation of Parents and Citizens’ Associations spokeswoman Rachael Sowden said being taught to the test was “not what parents want”.

“They do not want to know that their child scored three marks more than the kid down the street,” she said. “Parents are as concerned about the whole child and how they are going in creative arts, physical education and music as much as in literacy and numeracy.

“Parents do want to know where their child is up to at school and they do that best by having a conversation with the teacher.”

I hate having to prepare 8 year-olds who have never sat for a formal test before for the rigours of the 3 day marathon that is NAPLAN. It’s just not fair! They are too young!

Encouraging a Nation of Cheats

December 11, 2011

I am very much opposed to cheating in every form. Teachers are entrusted with the responsibility of imparting the lessons of integrity and honesty. It is absolutely vital that they are practising what they preach.

is right when she argues that the current narrow, test dominated view of education is bringing about dishonest behaviour. This further encourages students to continue the trend of dishonesty. This also prevents students from developing skills in persistence and motivation:

This week, the heads of the four main examination boards and officials from Ofqual, the exam regulator, are in for a testing time. They will be required to explain to MPs why some of their profession have indulged in behaviour that prompted Michael Gove, the education secretary, to call the examination system “discredited”.

The revelations of the past week have only reinforced a profound unease on the part of many that while we may be educating our children, are they actually learning anything useful (except, perhaps, that cheating definitely does not come cheap)? Useful, that is, not just for their future employment prospects, but also to equip them to become rounded human beings who desist from giving up the first time they taste failure or hit a hump on the bumpy road to maturity ?

As Mick Waters, a former director of the government’s exam regulator says: “We need to strip back to the bone and decide what education is for. There are children who learn paragraphs all day, every day, in year 11, just so they can write them one day in June.”

Sadly, stagnant teaching methods anchored in the 19th century are not in the dock this week. Instead, MPs want to learn more about examiners’ “tip offs” to teachers on which questions might or might not figure in exams; the perennial issue of dumbing down of standards and grade inflation and the extent to which the pressure of league tables on headmasters is causing them to bend the rules in ways that Mr Chips could never have envisioned.

Qualifications matter, but our neglect of other facets of learning makes us look moribund for a modern society. Better than obsessing about teaching to the test, why aren’t we probing what stokes motivation? Ask any teacher and he or she will tell you a dozen stories of bright pupils who can’t or won’t stick at it; stymied by their own lack of grit. Given that we have thousands of disengaged young people mouldering in school, why are we not more curious about the positive deviants? Those boys and girls, some with low IQs, and against all the odds, who power ahead of their brighter peers for the simple reason that they refuse to give up?

Why aren’t we telling teenagers, captive in the classroom, an alternative story? Why isn’t there a stronger challenge to a child’s belief that they have been labelled “thick” – by implication, at an early age by a well-intentioned graduate teacher, often from a distinctly different background? And to make them realise that judgment may be far from true and certainly shouldn’t mould a lifetime’s choices?

The rest of her article is well worth reading. She has nailed a major issue which our dysfunctional system has to take more seriously. After all, a system that revolves around a test can be exploited.

A system that revolves around quality education outcomes, engaging lessons, a focus on questions, inquiry and everyday, real life experiences can not be exploited so readily.

 


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