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Perception of performance. teachers vs parents

(20 Posts)
flower1978 Mon 11-Jul-11 14:35:27

I have seen alot of post along the lines of dd/ds only got x level in his report but I know dd/ds should have got. y.
Personally I do it too sometimes. Normally the other way round. Obv selling dd short.
Just wondering why this is? Any thoughts.

inthesticks Mon 11-Jul-11 15:11:42

I know what you mean but I tend to think that if DS hasn't achieved his target the the school haven't done their job.
DS got level 6b in Maths in Year 7 and is still at level 6b. His target was 7c.
Why have I only found this out now at the end of the year?
Grrr, roll on parents evening on Thursday.

YoungishBag Mon 11-Jul-11 15:14:15

I don't think like that. Dd lost interest in French at the beginning of Year 8 after being initially excited in yr 7. So she has not met her target. It's definitely not the teachers fault - she's just a bit lazy and newly teenagery.

noblegiraffe Mon 11-Jul-11 17:21:58

Progress isn't linear, decimal levels are crap and assessments aren't always accurate.

erebus Mon 11-Jul-11 21:07:35

No, but I tire of being told that DS2 is 'doing fine' and progressing towards 'passing his KS2 SATS (in Literacy)'- well, all I can think is the KS2 SATS level must be pretty low if DS is a candidate!

He's 10.1, end of Y5 (yes, sorry, decimal point there!)- the school think he will get a 4 in the SATS in Literacy. I have just started him in private tutoring because I feel he could do a fair bit better. He was independently assessed as having a reading age of 8.5 last week.

So, you see. my perceptions of his ability were correct, the school's isn't.

confidence Mon 11-Jul-11 22:20:27

That doesn't really follow Erebus. You are presuming that reading age should correlate exactly with SAT expectation, and it probably doesn't. Also, the difference between 8.5 and 10.1 is small enough to probably fall within the realm of "average". And these things are just not an exact enough science to be able to make solid statements and predictions based on such differences.

Level 4 for KS2 SAT is the expectation of national "average", so the school may be perfectly right. OTOH if you feel he could do better with private tutoring, then you're probably right - most kids could.

I agree with noblegiraffe, who put it very succinctly. The government-initiated culture of SATs, League Tables etc. has led to a generation of parents and commentators who think educational matters can be quantified, measured and predicted far more accurately than they can.

Progress is indeed not linear. Children DO stagnate and even sometimes appear to go backwards, for reasons that can be difficult to work out. I would go further and say that learning itself is not linear. It's a complex interaction of methodical teaching process with many variables of motivation, attitude, connections being made with other areas and so on. Much, possibly most, of what contributes to people really learning things is informal learning and the reinforcement of what is learnt in everyday life.

There's simply no way that a teacher can chart or predict the progress of 30 kids doing something as capricious and unpredictable as "learning", as if it's some kind of one-dimensional linear process.

mnistooaddictive Mon 11-Jul-11 22:24:42

Noblegiraffe is correct. It is all meaningless!

Bronte Mon 11-Jul-11 22:33:33

"Progress is indeed not linear. Children DO stagnate and even sometimes appear to go backwards, for reasons that can be difficult to work out. I would go further and say that learning itself is not linear. It's a complex interaction of methodical teaching process with many variables of motivation, attitude, connections being made with other areas and so on. Much, possibly most, of what contributes to people really learning things is informal learning and the reinforcement of what is learnt in everyday life."
As someone who remains incredibly sceptical of the present obsession with levels you echo my own views entirely.
My DD received some strangely contradictory levels for 2 humanities assignments.

Elibean Mon 11-Jul-11 22:34:34

Another one who agrees with the Giraffe...

IHeartKingThistle Mon 11-Jul-11 23:01:53

I'm a teacher. If I may be frank, targets are a bunch of arse and beating kids round the head with them is at best unproductive and at worst cruel. If a child is working hard, making progress and aware of what they need to do to continue making progress, that's all we should ask of them.

IHeartKingThistle Mon 11-Jul-11 23:04:29

I feel I should point out that I do not express these opinions to my students (at least not in quite the same way!) grin

cory Tue 12-Jul-11 07:46:16

If ds doesn't achieve his target, then I tend to wonder if ds has done his job.... By the time they get to upper junior, it's not just a case of the teacher: even the best teacher in the world can't do the learning for them.

ragged Tue 12-Jul-11 08:06:31

This is why I'm glad our (state) primary school doesn't tell parents what their targets are (beyond the national expectations with y2/y6 results). Do you generally get more explicit targets communicated in Secondary?

DS1 is in a private school and they are a law onto themselves wrt targets; average GCSE results better than local high school, though, and he goes to school without complaining & comes home talking enthusiastically about stuff he's done or learnt today; I don't really expect much more than that.

erebus Tue 12-Jul-11 08:14:27

Yes, I guess my standards are rather higher than the school's. To me, a 10 year old who can't reliably distinguish between it and is, for example (a sentence that floors DS2:'It is then that it will be decided whether that can happen'- the school reckon that his complete incomprehension of the meaning of that once he has fallen over 'it', 'is', that (says 'what') equals 'on target for a SATS pass' you may be saying 'Mmm, mild dyslexia?' but the school will not have it because a 'diagnosis' would require funding)

My feeling is that life's choices for the less than properly literate are severely curtailed. There are few noble jobs (read:paid enough to keep body and soul together) out there digging roads and carting things around any more- god, there are barely any apprenticeships left, either!- therefore, 8.5 at 10.1 can be the distinction between being able to access a secondary school education or not.

So fine, please call these grades and numbers 'meaningless' but don't allow that assertion to colour the fact that the standard you think is adequate necessarily is.

cory Tue 12-Jul-11 08:35:03

"So fine, please call these grades and numbers 'meaningless' but don't allow that assertion to colour the fact that the standard you think is adequate necessarily is."

Sorry but this last sentence has floored me.

IHeartKingThistle Tue 12-Jul-11 14:57:07

Me too.

gingeroots Tue 12-Jul-11 18:53:06

Just wanted to say that reading that learning isn't linear and isn't easily reduced to grades and numbers ,has brightened my day .
This has put into words what I've been thinking for years - and feeling that it was only me .
IHeartKT - you must be such a lovely teacher .

IHeartKingThistle Tue 12-Jul-11 23:27:06

Tell my Year 10s that!

Thanks smile

Doowrah Fri 15-Jul-11 22:52:59

Hmmmmm, interesting thread and I agree with it all but until the school organises itself to reflect the "arse" nature of levelling and our children are not trying to fit themselves into prescriptive boxes that define their value and worth by ability to know and do by set times and in comparison to others then the notion of grades don't matter plays with kids understanding of themselves and their intrinsic motivation to improve. Blimey I must go and lie down I haven't used by brain this much in years...

WillowFae Fri 15-Jul-11 23:11:37

inthesticks can you be SURE that it is the teacher's fault? We give targets and these are what the pupil is capable of reaching if they work hard. Obviously, as a teacher I will do what I can to make sure that the pupil engages with the lesson, offer advice and feedback on their work, let them know what they need to do to improve, etc.

However, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink.

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