Ex­ams are so last decade

Grocott's Mail - - YOUR SAY RAINFALL 19-25 OCTOBER -

With the en­tire coun­try in full exam mode, the ques­tion is whether stan­dard exam pro­ce­dure is still a rel­e­vant method of as­sess­ing in­tel­li­gence. Ma­tric pupils and stu­dents here at Rhodes will spend the next few weeks bent over desks com­plet­ing one, two, or three-hour writ­ten ex­ams.

Meth­ods of as­sess­ment have al­ways had a stan­dard process for un­der­stand­ing the in­tel­lec­tual ca­pac­ity of the stu­dents be­ing as­sessed. The anx­i­ety and stress that this pe­riod places on those un­der­go­ing ex­am­i­na­tion is not un­fa­mil­iar to them as this stan­dard ex­er­cise is re­peat­edly used year af­ter year.

When the use of a very spe­cific method of eval­u­a­tion oc­curs, cer­tain in­di­vid­u­als who re­spond well to this type of as­sess­ment will thrive.

How­ever, those who don’t nec­es­sar­ily learn through the same pro­cesses often out­num­ber these in­di­vid­u­als. A distinct ad­van­tage is granted to stu­dents that are able to make use of the spe­cific learn­ing styles that are ac­knowl­edged in schools while those who find their strengths through other pro­cesses of learn­ing are forced to adapt to what they might be weak in.

This cre­ates an en­vi­ron­ment of ex­clu­sion in which stu­dents are shunned for not ex­celling de­spite their ob­vi­ous dis­ad­van­tage.

The some­what elit­ist na­ture of ed­u­ca­tion as a whole is one that needs to be chal­lenged and trans­formed from the out­dated and con­strained for­mat that it cur­rently uses.

In a phrase, writ­ten ex­ams are so last decade.

•Emi­lySwanis­read­ing to­ward­saPost­grad­u­ateDi­ploma in­Jour­nal­ism&Me­di­aS­tud­iesat

RhodesUniver­sity

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