The impact of Dr Who on student attainment
The Dr Who viewing figures seem to suggest a peak engagement with The Doctor during the late 1970′s and early 1980′s – and anecdotally this would tally with my peak interest in the Doctor. Then as the 1980′s developed, Dr Who entered a rapid decline in UK the percentage of UK population who watched the exploits of our favourite Time Lord.
As a teacher, I knew in my heart that since the introduction of GCSEs that the number of learners achieving 5 C+ grades had increased rapidly. It was only when I plotted this graph that the stark differentiation between O-Level and GCSE became apparent, spewing the inevitable debate on “Have standards of Education really improved that much over 20 years?" (As a teacher, I feel I can ask that question without getting flamed).
So, what if we look at Dr Who viewing and Attainment:
- Looking at the O-Level years, it is clear that Dr Who viewing has no clear impact (positive or negative) on the attainment of the Nation. Indeed during this period Dr Who viewing spans 5% to 11% of the population with attainment constant.
- During the GCSE Years the picture is radically different. As Dr Who viewing increases, so does the percentage of learners who achieve 5 A*-Grades. In short, Dr Who makes you smarter.
Implications to Education:
- Establish Dr Who PLC’s within your schools to investigate the best way to roll out enforced episodes
- Map your curricular to Dr Who Episodes
- Nominate a departmental Whovian to be responsible for “putting The Doctor at the heart(s) of education"
- Dig deeper into the data to ensure that their isn’t a Dr Who Gender Gap in your school.
Call to action:
- As always, correlation isn’t causation.
- What correlations have you been forced to act upon recently?