And Today’s Daft Idea…

…is from Dylan Williams of the Institute of Education for his idea that, according to today’s Metro, “Millions of pounds could be saved on educational spending if a ‘traffic light system’ showing pupils’ understanding was used”.

To be fair to Dylan Williams I tried to find more about this, given the tabloid press’ ability to get things totally wrong. Unfortunately I was unable to find anything on the Institute’s website or on-line research database.

According to the Metro, children would hold up a red, amber or green card. Red would mean that they did not understand what they had been taught, amber would mean partly understood and green would mean fully understood. How this is meant to save millions of pounds is not made clear, especially as Williams himself would appear to believe that it would cost £2,000 per class to implement.

Call me old fasioned but I believe that the current system whereby students put their hands up and ask for further explanation, or the teacher determines from the students written work whether or not they have understood, works well enough.

I do not know how much Williams’ work cost to undertake but frankly, if savings are to be looked for, there is the place to start. 


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2 Responses to “And Today’s Daft Idea…”

  1. mark121 Says:

    I too saw this. I am fairly sure that whatever Prof. Williams has to say, it has somehow been mangled by Metro. I write science textbooks and can safely say that the traffic lights system is one that I often suggest that teachers use – but only as a two minute warm-up activity (and/or a two minute finishing-up activity). You pose a question or two and ask pupils how confident they are of their answers. A show of cards gives the teacher a quick guide as to how much pupils think they already know, so that he or she can adapt the teaching of the lesson if need be. It also gets the pupils to think about what they know and how they know it and makes sure that every child takes part. If you repeat the activity at the end of the lesson you hopefully get more green cards! My books don’t cost anywhere near £2000 per class – and they contain an awful lot more than one or two activity suggestions.

  2. brianthesecond Says:

    Let me get this right…two thousand pounds for ninety bits of coloured card. I’m told that suppliers of computers, stationary, and other such items routinely triple the price when supplying the education sector, because the people running it are so stupid and useless, but, Jeez…

    GET YOUR EDUCATION TRAFFIC LIGHTS FROM BRIANTHESECOND. Very reasonable deal, only twenty euros each (so much more communitaire, no?) (p & p extra)!

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