Not Just a Teacher

binge thinking on technology and education

Not Just a Teacher

MasterLearner

February 7th, 2013 · No Comments · General

I have been following the Australian version of MasterChef  The Professionals in the last few weeks. I don’t know exactly why as I fell out with it in the UK but I think it is something to do with Marco Pierre White being the celebrity chef and the fact that he comes from Leeds. What a sad reason but hey ho..

MasterLearnerAnyway, I began thinking about the programme the other day and the criteria used to decide who stays and who goes. To me, it ‘boils down’ (sorry) to waiting for someone to mess up. Now, correct me if I am wrong here, but is there something decidedly flawed in that mechanism? Every single chef on earth no matter how much of a master they are has a bad service, cooks a bad meal, bakes a bad cake, wrongly flambays their syllabub (told you I had been watching!!). So, how can that possibly be a way of eliminating people in order to find the true master?

I suppose the argument is that these chefs who mess up are then given a second go, anther chance to show it was just a hiccup. Yet, although this significantly reduces the chance of them repeating their bad performance, there is still a chance it might happen again. Added into this are factors such as taste of the judges, tasks set that involve speed, teamwork, etc etc.

So let’s compare all this to education. Do we judge a MasterLearner in the same way? Surely we don’t make the same mistakes? Well, I am afraid that in a lot of cases we do. Standardised tests, exams in their many guises are really not that much different a way to make judgments on learners than what I have described here. And you even get resits in some cases to cover the second go concept provided in MasterChef. These happen at all levels of education and in a vast array of subjects.

Surely, assessment has to be a one of the biggest issues facing education and one of it’s greatest failings.

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