I’ve long been a believer in education dumbing down…. and now being back in the throes of it, first hand, for the first time in erm…26 years I’m beginning to get a real sense of it.
The massage course I’m doing is supposedly ‘A’ level standard…. I began to suspect this was not ‘A’ level standard as I remembered it when we were given our first piece of homework.
‘How much shall we write’? we asked.
“There’s no set amount just remember you are ‘level 3’ students” came the reply.
“Yes but what does that mean”?!?
“Well I want at least a sentence for each question”.
At least a sentence!!!!
So I probably over wrote as my homework came in at just over 1100 words for perhaps a dozen definitions of skin conditions, diseases and disorders. But I got interested, enjoy writing and want to do well.
The course has three levels of achievement. Pass. Merit. Distinction.
I’m not aiming for anything in particular, I’m just trying to do the best I can as i’m a tad rusty on the academic front… some of the stuff we are being pointed towards to learn is pretty tricky… cell structure, physiology… and then at the other end of the spectrum stuff that you could teach monkeys like be nice to clients and a plug wire is a trip hazard.
It feels like a course you can approach from pretty much a wide range of academic ability bacuase, after all, it’s a massage course and there is a large practical component.
So… last week we were given our first assessment piece… plenty of clues as to what the questions meant and we’ve done lots of exercises in class that fit in with the assessment… its about professionalism and client care.
We were shown the grading criteria… pass, merit, distinction.
The class was divided into those who had heard of Harvard referencing and those who needed to be patted and told a bibliography was all that was required. And again we are told there is no word count requirement… but being level 3 students we shouldn’t be just writing a sentence. (ooooh a step up from homework)
…and then at the bottom of the criteria sheet was the phrase.
“certificates will just show a pass” (or words to that effect)
So…. those who work hard… are academically inclined… just get a certificate that shows a ‘pass’ even if they get a distinction. Its not even a different colour certificate? There’s no reward for hard work or intelligence?
There’s self satisfaction.
hmmmm…. I get that. And being of a concientous bent (my school reports all said so) I’ll probably be doing my best regardless of outcome.
But….it galls me… that theres no acknowledgement for hard work…. intelligence… diligence… no distinction between a pass and erm… a distinction.
It’s the modern…everyone gets a prize just for taking part method…. several goes at handing your work in to get the best mark possible… and then… however much effort you put in, chances are you ‘just’ pass.
I can hear my teenage self saying ‘what’s the point’?