Mark Dawe (pictured right), Chief Executive of OCR, returned to the Google in exams debate last week, when he took to the stage at the Sunday Times Festival of Education with his talk entitled Google, Gradgrind and Mathematics.
Mark’s talk focused on the study of mathematics – “a skill and an art” – to explore the role that exams and education play in developing skills and attitudes that go beyond the ‘Gradgrindian’ model of regurgitation, or ‘facts, facts, facts’.
He posed the question: “If you can answer an exam question by using Google, is it the right kind of question?” And concluded: “Assessment isn’t just about testing knowledge – it is about testing a wide range of skills and attitudes. There’s more to education than learning facts; appreciation and application are what make a difference.”
Also speaking at the Festival of Education was Tim Oates, Group Director of Assessment Research and Development at OCR’s parent organisation, Cambridge Assessment. Tim’s talk, Practicals in Science, addressed the pedagogic purpose of practical work in assessment and the rationale behind the new Practical Endorsement. Tim’s research has informed OCR’s new Positive About Practicals approach.
The annual two day Festival attracted thousands of attendees passionate about education for a programme of thought leadership, CPD, debate and workshops. OCR’s subject specialists took a day off from their current GQ Reform EXPO tour to welcome visitors to OCR’s colourful stand at the Festival.