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Friday 12-Aug-2016
【頭條日報:寄宿學校攻略】排名榜的迷思

上星期談及,英國寄宿學校很注重讓學生參與艱辛野外活動,鍛練年輕人的毅力及團隊精神。優秀的學校都會戳力栽培學生這些軟技能,因為人生路上這些技術才真是放諸四海皆有用。但很可惜,學校在這方面的堅持與努力很難被量化,往往被不少家長忽略。

 

對許多香港人來說,數字最能一錘定音。學生的前途固然取決於分數,學校的優良劣弊亦在其排名次序。家長為子女升學作考慮時,排名榜更常被視為不容違辯的金科玉律。

 

然而,今時今日資訊發達,連排名榜都越來越多。云云各個排名榜,到底哪一個比較權威、比較準確?哪一個才是終極冠軍?以英國中學為例,《Good Schools Guide》以歷史悠久為人熟悉;Best Schools榜,連IB及Scottish Highers的學校都涵蓋得到,勝在夠全面;《衛報》的排名榜公立學校及私立學校的表現一目瞭然;《每日電訊報》刊登的Independent Schools Councils排名,雖受到一些頂尖學校的杯葛,卻被視為最可靠並新鮮及時。

 

由此可見,排名榜根本就跟學校一樣,百花爭鳴,各有所長 ,也各有所缺。儘管各榜主要都是以學校學生的學術表現(如GCSE或A Level成績)作統計數據,但由於計算方法不同,結果都會互相有出入。數字背後所反映的現象,有時更可能與現實相去甚遠。

 

更重要的,是正如文首所講,學校一些不能量化的價值,例如對學生品格與軟技能的培養,可能根本不在排名榜計算之內。難怪有些教育界人士會覺得,排名榜根本無法提供一間學校教育的bigger picture,所以即使學校金榜有名,也只是給家長添了個茶餘飯後認叻的理由。

 

我覺得真正的皇道,是排名榜可以信,但不能盡信。我同意某些資深教育人士的建議,家長為子女選擇學校時,要採取「理智與感性」的策略。排名榜等數據固然要考慮,但怎樣也敵不過親身到學校探訪,與教職員交談,跟學生或舊生交流,親身feel一下子女在如此環境下受教育會不會開心快樂、茁壯成長。當然,把子女往外國送的本地家長未必能有這樣的奢侈;或許要透過不同渠道,對學校多一些數字以外的瞭解與感受,才能為子女作出最適合的抉擇。



(原文刊載於頭條日報《英材思教》專欄)

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