In a book I’ve just started reading – First Bite – Bee Wilson discusses the reason for the current crisis in nutrition-related health and the underlying causes. She writes “we seem to have lost the old-fashioned concept of ‘nourishing’ ourselves.”
My first thought was how quaint the word ‘nourish’ sounds. Then I thought of it’s rhyme, ‘flourish’. A term used widely in ancient and moral philosophy and one to which we have little connection these days. Both these words and their underlying concepts feel old-fashioned, and maybe this is the root of our troubles – not only our nutrition problems, but wider health problems, mental health included. Perhaps we have mislaid a centuries old idea that the principal endeavour of life is to flourish.
Continue reading “Nourish, Flourish, Live”
The anti-testing debate rages on, with an editorial this week in tes magazine.
Standardised testing has many advocates and many critics and I don’t intend to be one of them in this post. But what I am interested in discussing is what is the link between the attitude towards the results of standardised tests and the effect.
The tes editorial was a discussion of testing in the US. One box questioned whether American students are “really over-tested?”, and the justification for suggesting not (“The US is not a country of heavy testing”) is its comparison to other countries. Andreas Schleicher (the OECD’s education chief) suggests that plenty of other countries, with better educational outcomes, test a lot more. I wonder whether the reason there doesn’t appear to be a backlash against them might lie in the attitudes towards those tests. Perhaps the reason Americans feel they are in an educational regime of over-testing is because the stakes are so high. If teachers are at risk of disciplinary action as a result of these tests and if students are told the results of these tests will dramatically impact their futures (graduating, going to college, getting a “decent” job, being successful, being happy – the subtext behind all this rhetoric is quite alarming) then even with fewer actual tests than other countries, the culture may feel like there is ongoing testing.
Continue reading “Implications of Standardised Testing”