Putting the Test in its Place

Teaching well and keeping the number crunchers quiet

Paperback / softback, 112 pages, 234 mm x 156 mm
4 Sep 2017
Trentham Books

Price: £12.99

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This book privileges the experience and knowledge of classroom teachers over marketization and the constant assessment of their students’ performance. In 'Teachers Undefeated' Jon Berry found that teachers had not fallen for a reduced and meagre view of what children should be offered by schools. Now he writes about schools that have made a collective decision to abide by the principles of teaching and learning, confident that results will follow. Teachers, as well as parents and school governors, can take heart from this book. It shows that we can still teach with creativity, energy and innovation, and that resistance to a regime of teaching to the test is both possible and rewarding.

  • Jon Berry

    Dr Jon Berry is programme director for the Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) at the University of Hertfordshire.

CONTENTS: Foreword by Kevin Courtney; 1. What this book is about and what it sets out to do; 2. The autonomy paradox: We'll set you free ... as long as you do what you're told; 3. Seven different schools and one happy outrider; 4. The mismeasurement of learning: The experts' view; 5. Trust, values and principles: Still stubbornly hanging around; 6. A state of Grace: Not just about surviving; 7. More than a grade: Loving the subject at secondary level; 8. A jewel shining in the gloom: What a school can do when principles take centre stage; 9. Learning in your slippers: What might home-schooling tell us about schools and pedagogy?; 10. So, what are we going to do about it? How to put the test in its place; References; Index

'Jon Berry’s book is full of hope. It shows how schools can lessen the soul-destroying effects of testmania by a simple change of mindset, putting the quality of education rather than student outcomes at the heart of what they do. In today’s fear-filled schools this takes courage - but the more schools do it, the more it will encourage others to do the same.'

Madeleine Holt, More than a Score

'Those who think the school education policy landscape is not a battleground are kidding themselves. Across the globe, we teachers are working hard to retain autonomy over what happens in our classrooms and to guard ourselves against the mostly unwarranted attentions of politicians, bean counters and profiteers. Thank goodness Jon Berry is on our side. His latest book will further inspire and embolden teaching professionals everywhere to keep fighting for what they know to be true about the ways schoolchildren are best served.'

Glenn Fowler, Secretary, Australian Education Union, ACT Branch

'Jon Berry has once again written a book that should be read by all – not just the teachers weighed down by the number crunchers but also by the "managers" beguiled by the world of metrics. In the now-depressing Orwellian world, Berry provides a gleam of hope in the return to educational principles and teacher professionalism.'

Richard Pring, Professor Emeritus, Department of Education, University of Oxford