Is it really necessary to keep inventing our own wheels?

In other arenas I’ve written extensively on the loss of status of primary science in British schools following the removal of the end of Key Stage written assessments in 2009. In their latest report, ‘Maintaining Curiosity‘, Ofsted point out the detrimental impact this appears to have, if you take International Standards (PISA) as a measure. In my discussions with primary school subject leaders for Science, it’s clear that Science is the ‘poor relation’ in the Core Subjects. How much is it tracked and monitored by senior management?

The difficulty has always been that science is really impossible to assess properly. It is a multi-dimensional complex subject with a host of different aspects and a strongly practical component. If you believe you are reliably assessing your pupils in science, you are wrong. I have yet to be blown away by any of the models of science assessment during my research in schools in the UK and around the world but I am convinced that software could help in so many ways. Unfortunately there seems to be no motivation to marry the educational world with the world of computer simulations, game software and interactive APPs.

Currently, all I’m looking for is a responsive rubric for the new curriculum – read the statement, click on it, and the software does the boring part in order for the teacher to be able to build up a written summary and to analyse the data statistically for classes, groups, individuals etc. I’m convinced an ‘IT expert’ could knock that out in an hour. It’s taking me a lot longer.

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