Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

'Teach Slang to Fight Bias'

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

'Teach Slang to Fight Bias'

Article excerpt

An Academic has called for primaries to teach slang, partly to counter a perceived bias towards middle-class pupils in literacy Sats.

Some teachers took to social media this week to express their outrage about Monday's key stage 2 reading test, which they believed discriminated in favour of middle-class pupils because of the vocabulary it used.

But according to Michael Reiss, a researcher in curriculum studies at the UCL Institute of Education, it is impossible to set a test that is not biased towards one group of pupils or another.

"You cannot ever choose neutral terms in language tests," he said. "The people who set and mark tests are more likely to come from university-educated backgrounds; therefore, there's a bias towards what universities favour."

However, he believes that the Sats tests value certain words above others, and that this is where bias slips into the system. …

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