Exam performance is not the only  - and may not be the best - measure of success

Rob Rinder - in his recent comment piece (17 August 2018) for the London Evening Standard "Failing to get the exam results you want could be the best thing that happens to you — just look at me" - hit the nail on the head.  As he said:

"I am convinced that the more pressure we place on the single moment of exam results, the more we detract from nurturing the intellectual and emotional range that turns young people into successful adults and good citizens.
More than exam results, what matters most is their character, their capacity to recognise when their feelings of hurt, rejection and failure are getting in the way, to acknowledge them and move on.
If, like me, you didn’t get what you were hoping for, it might just be the best thing that has ever happened to you."

This is what I call 'mindful learning' - being in the present moment enjoying learning rather than always focused on the outcome - the end results.  As I've discussed elsewhere on this blog, students entering university now have come up through an education system that is obsessed with exam results, because of school league tables that are dependent on students' exam performance.  As a consequence schools have become exam factories, contributing to much of the stress, anxiety and low self-worth for students that comes with that.  That is no way to cultivate a love of learning that is so important to get the most out of a university degree, a love which ultimately makes learning fun and provides a context in which assessments and even exams are just part of that learning experience, not just a test of what you know (or don't know).


Bill Sheate, 22 August 2018