Monday, 20 August 2012

GCSEs, Education in the Future and a Free Book.


To celebrate GCSE results week I have decided to give Thrift away for free from Wednesday to Friday so I can rejoice in my downloads whilst probably crying at my disastrous GCSE results as I realise I have marked everything incorrectly/entered students for an irrelevant exam/told them to answer the wrong questions etc. And while the nation celebrates what will most probably be another record rise in GCSE results, and the newspapers roll out the ‘Record Results’ headlines they do every year, you have to wonder, well I do anyway, exactly how useful GCSEs (and not to mention BTECs) actually are. Whilst Michael Gove tries to return the country to the fifties with everyone studying Latin and eating congealed rice pudding to build up their character, I do think we might be missing the point of education. Perhaps reading too much science fiction has distorted my view of how quickly humanity will advance in terms of science and technology, but I constantly wonder how using a French textbook in lessons is preparing anyone for what might happen in the next few decades. I look forward to earpiece translators, handheld personal assistants, neural implants and holodecks so you can experience virtual history. I like to think I am a fairly entertaining teacher (the students would probably say otherwise) but in twenty years’ time will anyone wish they were listening to me rather than living in a simulation of The Twilight Hunger Games? I doubt it.