Skills Tests

I had to post after reading this article on TES: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6427742

To summarise it is a potential PGCE student who has been trying to complete the required skills tests in Maths and English to be able to join the course and, eventually gain QTS.

After admitting recognition about the need for the Literacy test, they go on to condemn the Numeracy test as “rather barbaric”. Also, they “want to teach young children, not scholars with two PhDs to their names.”

I’m sorry, but as a BA Primary Education student that has had to go through the same test to receive the same qualification, I find this a bit concerning. I know instead of it being an ‘exit’ test it is now an ‘entry’ test. However, as far as I understand the tests themselves have not changed. The test is not barbaric, it is high KS2 Maths at best. OK, Maths is considered one of my strong areas of the curriculum. However, I am acquainted with many people on my course who would not consider Maths a strength by any stretch of their imagination. They passed.

This would-be teacher closes their discourse on the pitfalls on checking future teachers abilities in Maths by saying they “fear that this test may prove a barrier for many, preventing great teachers from joining the profession.” A teacher, in order to be great, must have subject knowledge. Otherwise, the content will not be of the required quality. If that teacher cannot complete Maths questions that are assumed slightly that above a class they might teach, how can they confidently and correctly teach?

It’s not often I disagree completely with a person’s point of view, I like to be open-minded. However I’m surprised that this article was on TES. Some may disagree with me, but in this case I’d be very surprised if you do…
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photo credit: Chris Devers via photopin cc

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