Teaching teachers

Democrats Leader Lyn Allison suggests that high school students should grade their teachers the same way that teachers grade their students at the end of every year.

“I think students are the best ones to be able to criticise teachers… They are with them during the school day and they observe the practice and they know whether they are learning or not.”

Like most things Democrats say, this is not a good idea. I don’t think a high school student who’s more interested in computer games and hormones is able to objectively judge the effectiveness of their teachers. They may like some teachers better than others, but that doesn’t mean one is better than the other. Some students may also dislike a particular teacher simply because they dislike the course. You can’t blame a physics teacher for bad teaching if the student isn’t interested in physics in the first place. By relying on students to grade their teachers, teachers may also be inclined to put less focus on good teaching and more on having good teacher-student relationships. Teachers may start marking exams more leniently, or perhaps even revealing exam questions beforehand.

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2 Responses to Teaching teachers

  1. Ed says:

    Don’t underestimate kids. They are capable of some fairly objective and insightful thinking. Of course some will grade based purely on their emotional relationship with the teacher but these results are easily accounted and adjusted for. Do you honestly think adults answer survey questions with greater integrity?

  2. Jimmy says:

    Whoa, didn’t notice this comment, all the way down the page…

    Ed – yes, of course there are adults who may not give the best answers to survey questions, but this would certainly be less so than children.

    Kids are more likely to be influenced by emotion and peer pressure, let alone believe everything their parents/teachers tell them.

    There’s a good reason why we don’t hold children 100% accountable for crime, or even let them vote for that matter.

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