In SecEd Guy Claxton invites us all to imagine what we would say if we met Ruby recently after she had left a school we know well
Imagine that you are walking down the street and you bump into Ruby, an 18-year-old who left your school two years ago. She button-holes you and thanks you for the wonderful education that your school gave her.
You remember that Ruby left with only a few mediocre GCSEs, so you suggest that maybe she’s referring to the friendships she made. True, she says, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I mean the real education you gave me. You ask her to explain. What do you imagine she says?
How do we describe a great education that did not result in good grades? Exams are a competitive game. Standards are deliberately adjusted so that not too many people get As or A*s, and roughly half of all 16-year-olds do not achieve five “good” GCSEs including English and maths. The latest measures of individual performance set the bar even higher.
So what exactly is Ruby, a “loser” at the Examination Game, grateful for? In our book Educating Ruby, my co-author Professor Bill Lucas and I argue that schools ought to have a proudly and fluently proclaimed answer to the Ruby question
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Watch out for Guy's article in Teach Primary, coming soon.