Thursday, July 02, 2009

The right to fail?

Should pupils be allowed to fail? Is there a trend to always encourage children - to place happiness as the highest ideal? Should schools always seek to protect children from all negative consequences?

Partly this post is prompted by this very old news report that I filed and intended to write about but somehow, I never got around to it - Pupils 'distressed over spelling':
"A primary school has stopped carrying out spelling tests because children find them distressing..."
It also is related to some of the things I've been thinking about in relation to assessment.

What do you think? Should the chief aim of schools be to make children happy? Is there value in failing? Is it possible to recognise achievement in some without de-motivating others who can't achieve to the same standard?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had a very interesting and lengthy conversation with my PT about this very topic. I was pointing out that I would rather something took longer and was messier but that the pupils had truly contributed than something quicker and neater that they had only 'token' input into. Feel that there is a danger, particularly in our sector, of over-protecting the pupils from failure. After all, dealing with failure is something we all have to learn to do.