Recent research has shown that higher-level performance in thinking skills (exactly the sort that Mr By Jove hopes to encourage) result from a relaxation in the prefrontal cortex – the brain’s command center for decisions, goals, and behaviour. In other words, curiously your brain is at its most active when you’re not focused on a specific task.
Now obviously this has some startling implications for learning and assessment, in that it seems that one of the best ways to facilitate this process of coaxing out your genius is to take a shower:
Presumably therefore the DfE’s new GCSE and A level specifications will include the requirement for all candidates to take a shower mid-way through each examination. Under the present system, to avoid so-called cheating, each candidate would therefore need to have their own private cubicle, complete with personal escort. Carefully co-ordinated coloured bath towels and free delicately scented soaps and candles – the sort of luxuries currently only provided by private schools – will also be required.
“This is an exciting piece of research, and one we will be looking at very seriously.” a spokesperson for the DfE didn’t say, before failing to add: “We plan to conduct some pilot schemes as soon as possible. There are substantial cost implications of course, so we might need to look at upgrading the current communal showers found in schools. As a result we will be considering introducing examinations that involve collaborative work – something teachers have long been asking for. We are also going to look at other means of enabling candidates to relax more and achieve ‘higher’ standards during examinations, such as meditation, yoga, and of course cannabis. After all, the last thing we would want to be accused of is being an enemy of promise.”
Image credit: Steven Depolo http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3761877701, Third Angel http://www.flickr.com/photos/thirdangeluk/2770208991