Exam success makes children happy, argues Michael Gove
Exam success boosts children's happiness and encourages them to learn, according to the education secretary Michael Gove.
In a speech to the Independent Academies Association conference on Wednesday Mr Gove is expected to back rigorous testing in England's schools.
He will say that easy exams are worse than no exams at all.
"Exams matter because motivation matters. Humans are hard-wired to seek out challenges," he will argue.
"Our self-belief grows as we clear challenges we once thought beyond us. If we know tests are rigorous and they require application to pass, then the experience of clearing a hurdle we once considered too high spurs us on to further endeavours and deeper learning."
In the speech, the minister is expected to refer to the work of the American cognitive scientist Daniel T Willingham whom he cites as one of his biggest influences.
Quoting from Mr Willingham's book Why Students Don't Like School Mr Gove says he agrees that students are motivated to learn if they enjoy "the pleasurable rush that comes from successful thought".
Mr Gove is set to say this is what exam success provides: "There is no feeling of satisfaction as deep or sustained as knowing we have succeeded through hard work at a task which is the upper end, or just beyond, our normal or expected level of competence.
Read more ... (BBC News - 14 November)