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National Curriculum tests and the teaching of thinking skills at primary schools - parallel or paradox?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Hanneke Jones



The drive to raise standards in core curriculum subjects, and the teaching of thinking skills, are both aspects of the UK government's education policy for England. This article is based on findings from a questionnaire-based research project which investigated the relationship between National Curriculum tests, which are an important element of the 'Standards Agenda' on the one hand, and the teaching of thinking skills in primary schools, on the other. Analysis of the data indicated a negative impact of these tests on the teaching of thinking skills. In examining the results, the principles underlying both the National Curriculum tests and the teaching of thinking skills are discussed, and found to conflict considerably. It is argued that pedagogies aimed at the development of higher order thinking skills cannot be expected to flourish in an education system which continues to be dominated by tests and league tables.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jones H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Education 3-13

Year: 2010

Volume: 38

Issue: 1

Pages: 69-86

Print publication date: 22/03/2010

Online publication date: 22/03/2010

Acceptance date: 12/05/2009

ISSN (print): 0300-4279

ISSN (electronic): 1475-7575

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/03004270903099785


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