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Eton headmaster argues exams are sacrificing creativity

Posted by Hannah Walker in

Head Master of Eton, Mr. Little, has reportedly spoken out about his concern with what he refers to as a "fundamentally Victorian approach to exams." He laments continuous examination on Britain's young people, as he believes that creativity is ultimately sacrificed. Whilst he recognises that literacy and numeracy is important and must be noted at various stages through one's education, creative expression is severely sidelined. It is this that is "hugely dangerous" as he goes on to state that "young people have a tremendous energy and power and as a nation we don't harness it." Mr. Little believes that Britain seems to have adopted the Chinese method of schooling, which he deems prizes academics over extra-curricular and creativity. He refers to the Chinese approach as "ritualized [and] mechanical." The UK appears to be "particularly uninventive" as he puts it, when it comes to assessment and suggests that GCSE's become the absolute focal point for a person of the age of 16, when evaluation could be done through other means.

The government has recently invested a lot into the UK's education system, imposing new reforms throughout schools across the country. Head teacher of Brentwood Country high school in Essex, Mr Drew, comments that he believes these reforms are necessary but it is important to recognize that focus of academics meant "we are losing creativity in schools." Minister Nick Gibb responded saying that Conservative reforms have every intention of ending this culture of "examitis", however keeping up reputation is important and do want to stay on par with the successful schools of Shanghai and South Korea.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons