Great British Fake-Off


Q. What do you think ‘educake’ means?

A. I think ‘educake’ is a neologism. I can tell from the advertisement that it is referring to education, e.g. the ‘edu’ of the made-up word, and the ‘cake’ is perhaps used as a metaphor for eating education, or having a slice of education: both to mean that you are consuming education. I think the advertisers missed a trick because they also use the term ‘low-stakes’ and I think they could have had some fun with this as a pun about food and eating! But what do I know? I’m just a student plugging into this set of tests. That said, I have done a lot of tests in my school life so perhaps I will be good at more tests.

I accept I would need to see more than this one advertising example to fully confirm my reservations, but you can’t sign up for the ‘free trial’ if not a teacher/student with an existing school to include in the form. However, I am happy to take a punt on my immediate reasons for having doubts – and there are a few other ‘examples’ to reference.

I’ll start with the hierarchy of learning [my word] it is claimed these ‘high-quality’ questions produce: ‘increase students’ knowledge, cultural capital and skills’. Well, I have to presume this is a Hirschian model of education – which I detest – placing ‘knowledge’ to the fore, and then that loaded, quite despicable term ‘cultural capital’, and leaving skills as the last, which I would always see as embracing understanding and how to use this [not, by the way, for some kind of cultural aggrandisement and privilege!].

That for me is the biggest and immediate nail in the lid.

Secondly, I simply don’t see the exemplar on ‘pathetic fallacy’ as all that clear in how it works/operates, but as it exemplifies only at identification anyway [as is] it isn’t purposeful.

Thirdly, these other visual displays/examples/advertising tempts pound in the further nails:


OK, very funny. Some of the teachers are even from my generation in adding to this mock role-call of names [e.g. Richard and Linda Thompson/Billy Cobham] and I could see myself doing this, but not the atrocity of the ‘Marked as Wrong’ exemplar. I’ve seen enough of this ‘Accepted Answers’ draconian nonsense in English SATs mark schemes over many years to endorse/agree with any English teacher demeaning themselves and the subject to use. Still, English teachers continue to mark the SATs so I guess there are plenty like this out there.


Oh dear, further appalling bollocks. And this is the classic test/automatically marked nonsense that serves no other purpose than it can be done simply.


Well, this is interesting. Firstly, is there a GCSE English subject that uses Women in Love as a set text? Perhaps this is A Level… Is there an English subject examination that tests in such discrete short-answer questions? That’s just a query by the way. I still wouldn’t endorse this as an online learning [my word] tool. Secondly, I could see myself using this as a classroom resource, being able to ask the question and discuss answers and reasons for the differing elements of perception demonstrated. Ironically, this exemplifies the multiplicity of responses in English as a subject that ‘Accepted Answers’ always works destructively against. Finally, and in the spirit of an acceptable, purposeful pedantry [so not al la Rees-Mogg’s assumed cultural capital…] I don’t like writing such as Different answers are subtly different, so students really need to think to demonstrate understanding because if an English teacher wrote this they shouldn’t be setting these questions.


I’ve just been back to the cake stall to check I hadn’t missed anything ‘good’ on the sales table about Educake – no, I mean that: if I dislike something, I do want to make sure I really* dislike it. But I found this, an appalling league tables idea to place students in a hierarchy of commitment to lots and lots of extra homework which will of course ignore completely all the significant differentiating features affecting students’ commitment to/aptitude for/ability to undertake and so on these homework tests –


I’m surprised the ‘older’ members of the ideas team didn’t allocate names like

Jimi Hendrix
Eric Clapton
Jimmy Page
Jeff Beck
B.B. King
Eddie Van Hallen
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Neil young
John Martyn

All those tricks missed!

*using one of Educate’s really favourite words.

2 thoughts on “Great British Fake-Off

  1. Pingback: Cultural Capital | gravyfromthegazebo

  2. Pingback: Teachit English and CC | gravyfromthegazebo

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