January 23, 2021

"We should change exams and evaluation" – The Province


The British Alex Beard always wanted to be a teacher. But not any one. He wanted to be the Robin Williams of 'The club of the dead poets', a bright teacher and able to spread enthusiasm for learning. I did not get it. He left the classrooms and dedicated himself to travel the world in search of other learning systems.

Other ways to learn It is his new book, an essay on what works in education and why.

What virtue would you highlight from the Dead poets society ?

It reminds me of the ones I had in my high school, which was something like Harry Potter's Hogwarts school. Demanding but inspiring teachers. I wanted to be like them.

You admit that failed. Do you know why? Because I realized that my students were very different from those of my time. They knew several languages, they used mobile phones and other technologies. However, the methods in class were the old ones. I believe in the learning revolution, but I was not part of it.

He has seen from the Seoul exam factories to excellent Finnish teachers. He affirms that we are facing a revolution in the way of learning. Freckle of optimism?

Maybe, but we have to believe in that revolution. I have seen that it was possible. Today we know a lot about the functioning of the brain, we know about psychology, we have internet and artificial intelligence. In my tour of different schools I have seen that there are already schools that are launching that revolution.

It is almost impossible to have an educational system if every time there is a new government the laws change, as in Spain.

Politicians should get away from education. It is a field of parents, teachers and experts.

The education of children is the most important company of our kind, says in the book.

We live in a world where everything ends. The only thing that is unlimited is the human potential to learn. Parents are one of the most important parts of learning, much more than school and teachers. They are the first who have to help their children find the love for learning. Children are born with the natural ability to learn and are like little scientists.

Should we remove the exams?yes

The way to evaluate students should be radically changed. In Finland, the evaluation system does not imply so much pressure. They are assessed knowledge and skills or empathy. No student is placed in a ranking. In a London school they focus on emotional intelligence and study emotions every day.

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