Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Absence of Malice

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  • Rachel Prosser,

    I used to love doing those tests. That sounds show-offy but its not - the idea of doing well or not doing well never entered my head. They were just fun. .

    I loved PA Tests.

    I totally relate to the episode of Friends when Monica takes the night class and is ultra cheerful there's a quiz on.

    I even remember doing a PA test voluntarily at home. Mum was giving the Social Studies one to third or fourth formers, and I was eight or nine and had a go. I remember her looking up the scaling chart which said I'd done really well for my age.

    But then, tests were always a chance to show I'd done well. I looked upon them as self-esteem affirming events. Unlike Cross-Country.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 225 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser,

    Oooh, pedants' corner: Progressive Achievement Tests. Hence PA tests rather than PAT tests.

    I wonder if Public Address is a haven of PA test lovers?

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 225 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I wonder if Public Address is a haven of PA test lovers?

    That would be interesting. Anyone else?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18503 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    That would be interesting. Anyone else?

    Loved them. Multi-guess tests are a bunch of fun.

    Gotta be careful how you colour in those little circles, though.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4326 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    Ooooh I loved those PATs. I longed to get to play with the teacher's marking sheet that fitted over the answer form too

    But then, tests were always a chance to show I'd done well. I looked upon them as self-esteem affirming events. Unlike Cross-Country.

    Or netball.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 702 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    That would be interesting. Anyone else?

    I have no earthly idea what you guys are even talking about.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7320 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    That would be interesting. Anyone else?

    Loved them. Looked forward to them.

    Klutz at sportz.

    Oh, and at last, a cultural reference that Giovanni doesn't get. That's a relief - he was showing everyone else up.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1296 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Ooooh I loved those PATs.

    Me too - aced them, but I remember the focused internal satisfaction of me against the test, not really to do with other people at all. And I still want to call it a PAT test, so there.

    I longed to get to play with the teacher's marking sheet that fitted over the answer form too

    One of the benefits of a teacher in the house was I did get to play with that kewl marking overlay. God that's geeky.

    geek translator

    Which is often how I described my IT work which merged client support, interface design, business analysis, testing and - snap - technical writing. After writing the manual for software used to write manuals, I figured it was time for a change.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16262 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I have no earthly idea what you guys are even talking about.

    Standardised testing for every kiwi schoolchild, oddly enough..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16262 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Oh, and at last, a cultural reference that Giovanni doesn't get. That's a relief - he was showing everyone else up.

    Of course it doesn't help to live in the land of the long wide acronym. And school seems to bring out the worst, for some reason. I'm a trustee at my school - ops, I mean, I'm on the BOT. Midway through the average meeting, after we've discussed our compliance to the NAGs dictated by the MoE and we've heard the latest results from the STAR test - which is called STAR even if you happen to SUCK - I begin to sob.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7320 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    But was it centrally reported? As far as I can recall, teachers used it to gauge children's abilities and knowledge at the start of the year, so that they could plan their teaching activities accordingly. At least, that was the ideal. I mostly recall the nun who used it to group the class into smarties and dummies, and because I had started school late that year, and missed all the tests (oh noes!), I got grouped with the dummies. We were not treated very nicely at all. I made my own exit from that group fairly rapidly, but it was a lost year for the kids who continued to be apostrophised as "dummies."

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1296 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    I never had a clue what the tests were used for and never knew hos I did either (except when my third form English teacher told my parents about my high reading comprehension result). I just liked filling in the forms.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 702 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I don't know if PAT was nationally collated or reported (someone else here might). I'd guess it was used for streaming in at least some schools, but I was too young to care about such things.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16262 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I like this thread. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16262 posts Report Reply

  • Heather W.,

    They may well still be doing those tests at schools - PAT

    North Shore • Since Nov 2008 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    Thinking about it I did sort of wag in 7th form. 'Twas nearing the end of year and the person masquerading as our Chemistry teacher (he was a Geography graduate, recent) was trying to do revision type stuff with us. Except I knew it better than he and when he got mineral chalk and gypsum mixed up I let go a sotto voce expletive which I think he heard, just about. We looked at each other for a couple of seconds and he carried on. I never went back.

    When it was time for Chemistry, I would wait in the common room till it had started then saunter past with my chem text book under my arm and go sit in the library and do chem revision. I came top in Chemistry that year (only because the girl who always came top in Chem had left after 6th form).

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • kowhai montgomery,

    I liked them a lot too. Not least, because I felt good at them, but also because they were tests you didn't and couldn't prepare for, which were my kind of tests.

    Exactly. No pressure really because there is nothing you can do to prepare you just have to focus and reason.

    I got assessed as having a 16 year old reading age at 10 years old. I failed school certificate and then I got an A in bursary.

    The vagaries of the system eh.

    Wagging? Did it occasionally. Got away with it because I was a 'good citizen' in the words of my school principal. I managed to walk past him on the street while wagging and smile sweetly, he must have thought I was on the way to the dentist.

    I was in the top class of an achedemically undemanding school.

    For what it is worth, I would LOVE to be self-employed and I can see the appeal of technical writing.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I can see the appeal of technical writing

    You're hired!

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16262 posts Report Reply

  • kowhai montgomery,

    Don't toy with me Sasha. Befriend me on facebook and give me a job ;-)

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Standardised testing for every kiwi schoolchild, oddly enough..

    Someone needs to cross-reference all the people who have claimed loved for their PATs, with those people bitching about standardised testing on the 'Soundbite to Policy' thread, and send them a 'please explain' ;)

    I have no memories of these tests, though I presume we did them in the late 80s. Danielle?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Ah Kowhai, if only I had jobs to give..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16262 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    Someone needs to cross-reference all the people who have claimed loved for their PATs, with those people bitching about standardised testing on the 'Soundbite to Policy' thread, and send them a 'please explain' ;)

    I quite enjoy filling in forms and I tend to be good at tests (sometimes to the point of doing significantly better in exams than assignment work).

    Liking something doesn't mean it's good for our long-term well-being though (see also my relationship with sugar).

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 702 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    I'm prone to fits of intense activity followed by fits of intense arsing about. I can put up with any amount of ridiculousness in the short term.

    My partner (also not the most devoted to his schooling) and I both have a problem with not understanding when things are 'not our job'. We're both too prone to tell higher-ups that what they're requiring us to do is dumb and should be done differently.

    Snap. I have to say I've never found my niche in the employed world. I am happiest and function best as a painter and generally creative person, but it doesn't gel with the need for regular income to pay mortgage, bring up kids etc. So now I'm a part time undergrad and faff about doing other people's housework. (When I'm not teaching my son how to pass assessments for Correspondence, haha). I even did a small business course in case i go that road, suit me better maybe. What does anyone do with a history degree now anyway?

    I know. I'll be a teacher.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Someone needs to cross-reference all the people who have claimed loved for their PATs, with those people bitching about standardised testing on the 'Soundbite to Policy' thread, and send them a 'please explain' ;)

    I notice your winky face, but hasn't the point been made on the other thread that precisely because we do have standardised national testing at present in both numeracy and literacy, coming in with an agenda to push the testing implies that in the future it's going to be more pervasive and focus the teaching a lot more, which many view as a backward step?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7320 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    What does anyone do with a history degree now anyway?

    Become a librarian. Sigh.

    I don't remember those tests, Kyle. But that doesn't mean they didn't happen. My memory: iz not so grate, aksually.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

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