There is usually a huge amount of talk about the number of A level passes this time year. This week many students will be finding out how they have done and there is already the usual round of discussions and debates regarding how easy or not, A level examinations are.
Some critics say that A levels are getting easier and others dispute this. The records do indicate the students passes have continued to improve year on year for the past 27 years, but this in itself does not necessarily mean that the exams are easier.
As in every other medium and technological endeavour, there continues to be breakthroughs, increased understanding and improved ways to do things. Education and learning is no different to any other area.
For many years teachers, educators and educational researchers have discovered more about how our brain works and have developed improved methods of teaching. As this continues it is only natural to expect our student population to improve their learning skills.
Thirdly access to information in a variety of forms i.e. Internet, CD Roms, e-learning, etc, has helped by catering more readily to the different learning styles of learners. Many of these methods are being used in our schools and colleges throughout the Country. Learners on the other hand have taken on these newer methods of teaching and have improved their individual achievements. Is this not what is to expected? Our younger people are doing what we are asking them to do. Finally we have turned the corner as parents, our children are listening to us and using the methods of learning advised, with great results. Hurray! Or am I the only one seeing this?
The issue here is not that the number of A level passes has continued to rise, it is more that it may be time to re-evaluate the past levels. If the students are becoming more intelligent, then it is appropriate that exams be made more difficult – the pass level needs to be move upwards. Don’t all shout me down here, but it makes logical sense. Maybe the qualifications standards have not been keeping up with improvements in teaching methods in the classroom. I don’t honestly know enough about the rudiments of the qualification standards, but it is a thought.
I think we should be giving both students and teachers some credit for the continued high levels of achievements.
Each generation has always improved on the achievements of the one before. This may be all that is happening now. Lets work more readily with it, instead of criticising students and detracting from their achievements.