Mon | Nov 19, 2018

Letter of the Day | PEP problem: Can most teachers think critically?

Published:Tuesday | October 9, 2018 | 12:13 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

In your editorial of Sunday, October 7, The Gleaner correctly posited, "Students will have to show more than a capacity to recite facts. They will have to display a capacity to manipulate information."

This, Mr Editor, could be at the heart of the challenge many teachers face in this transition. After many years of teaching students how to recite facts (teaching to the test) now being required to enhance students' capacity to manipulate facts must be a daunting prospect for many teachers.

But the plot thickens. How will the teachers who have not mastered the art/skill of critical thinking themselves help students?

With due respect to the minister of education and his advisers, the 2016 roll-out of the National Standards Curriculum (NSC) was of no significance given the retention of GSAT, which required little or no critical thinking and extrapolation of information. For the most part, teachers were able to continue teaching to the test.

The twinning of the NSC and the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) is a sound educational move, but we must find a way to bring our instructional leaders, teachers, and then students to a level of competence that does justice to the new paradigm.

RICHARD KITSON-WALTERS

richardkitsonwalters@gmail.com

Sandy Bay, Clarendon