Wednesday 21 February 2018

Bringing up grades by dumbing down equals failure

The uncomfortable truth is that we do not have the best educated young people in Europe, writes Emer O'Kelly

THEY have problems in some American high schools. Teachers are not permitted to tell the pupils their work leaves a lot to be desired, much less tell them that the standard of their work is rotten and unacceptable. And this is followed through to the examination stage where teachers are not permitted to fail a pupil.

The reason? It will damage their self-esteem. Encouragement must be the buzz-word.

It gets worse. I heard last week from an Irish supervisor of literature theses submitted for a master's degree in a quite reputable American university. One of the students, the holder of a BA, is unable, according to the supervisor, to spell, punctuate, or construct a sentence, much less make a literary case and follow through a literary argument.

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