Developing World Class Teaching Standards - Welsh Government Dropping of G.C.S.E. Targets A**

         The Welsh Government proposal to drop the five G.C.S.E. school targets is to be commended. This reflects the recognition that children's learning potential is not equal. What will be a very good performance for a child of lower learning potential can be a poor one for a child with high learning potential.             

     Sue Garthcole, who is world authority on working memory, contends that  working memory capacity is a greater predictor of children's attainment than I.Q. She has recently stated that there is no evidence that the brain can be trained. Working memory cannot be improved.

     The whole education system has been designed from an academic learning perspective. Whilst rote, behaviourist teaching has no place in the modern educational system, we all remain human beings. We naturally enjoy success, but not failure. Negativity is a stronger emotion than positive ones.

 Dr Kathryn Asbury a leading genetics research claimed in the Tes that:-

“At the moment, we funnel children towards university and we take pride in it, whether or not that matches what they want to do with their futures. We see university as the end goal – we need to take a much more life-long perspective. We simply do not have enough options for everyone to find their niche.”

    Whilst on the one hand we do not want to suppress children's ambitions, we need to get away from the culture that academic achievement is more worthy than lower achievement. Dylan Wiliam provides a fascinating insight into the culture of secondary schools, where he illustrates that even high achieving children dislike failure (re. Chloe).

        The fundamental weakness of Pisa is that views children attainment in terms of the 'highest ideals' that the O.E.C.D. wants for children, but children are human beings and not clones. In South Korea there were children committing suicide because they were failing to reach the standard to go into teacher training.