June 14, 2005

Autono Blogger: Schools not places for learning 2

Autono Blogger: Schools not places for learning: Aaron commented,
some kind of minimal level of competency that should be demonstrated should a student be deemed to have successfully learned something.
Why the passive voice, I wonder? Who is doing the "deeming"? What I'm putting to students is the suggestion that they are learning English from a native speaker in order to learn how to use it (an idea that seems oddly novel). That being the case it makes sense a) for evaluation purposes and b) for their own satisfaction or sense of accomplishment, to have a) some kind of linguistic target and b) a means to show me and themselves that they have achieved their target. I am trying to get as far away as I can from the sense of a "test" which is primarily for the purposes of other people (i.e. not the learners themselves). It is this kind of education that has led (I believe) to an oppression of learners, to their subordination to the requirements of statist and corporatist goals, which has in turn led to the extraordinary (and yet hard to deny) result of the subordination of learning to testing (or, as McVeigh puts it, to filtering).

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