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#1 HuwPhill

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 05:59 PM

Question from this years exam.

"How satisfied were the big three with the Treaty of Versailles? Explain your answer.

My students answer is below

Clemenceau wanted to get revenge on Germany because most of the war took place in France and most of the north was destroyed. For that reason he was satisfied with getting large reparations. He also wanted to get back Alsace and lorraine which were taken by the Germans in 1870 and he was happy with this.He also wanted to make sure that France would be safe from future attack so was satisfied by the reduction in the armed forces. He wanted Germany broken up into tiny states so that it could never threaten France again. This didnt happen so he was probably a bit disatisfied with this.

Lloyd George was satisfied with destroying the German Navy because before the war they threatened our trade and colonies and now they couldn't. He was not satisfied with the harsh treatment of Germany because they used to buy lots of things from Britain but now they could not afford it
Wilson wanted a just peace so that there would not be a future war. The harsh treaty did not satisfy him because now he thought that the Germans would seek revenge. He did want a League of nations set up though and this did happen so he was at least satisfied by this bit.


Examiners mark 4/10. Can someone please explain why this doesnt show nand explain reasons for satisfaction and disatisfaction ? as I am at a loss.

Edited by HuwPhill, 04 October 2011 - 05:59 PM.


#2 JohnDClare

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 06:41 PM

I am not an exam marker, but I will offer what I can.

As far as I understand it, the markscheme goes like this:

level 2: Identifies AND/OR describes satisfaction OR dissatisfaction (3-4 marks)
level 3: Explains his satisfaction OR dissatisfaction (5-6)
level 4: Explains with evaluation of ‘how far’ (10)

When your pupil writes (e.g.)

He also wanted to get back Alsace and lorraine which were taken by the Germans in 1870 and he was happy with this.

what he is doing is identifying and describing. If you look at what he is saying, he is setting the context of the achievement, and then just stating that this was satisfying.

I can see how you are frustrated, but there is no explicit explaining going on. I always used to tell the pupils that explaining requires the word 'because'.

I suspect if your pupil had turned what he was saying round so that the explanation was explicit, then he would have begun to move towards level 3, like this:

Clemenceau was also satisfied with the return of Alsace and Loraine to France, because they had been taken by the Germans in 1870.

But I would still have advised my pupils to try and go deeper into the explanation of why getting back Alsace-Lorraine satisfied Clemenceau (nationalism, national humiliation, revenge for 1870 etc.)

there is one place where your pupil uses because:

'Clemenceau wanted to get revenge on Germany because most of the war took place in France and most of the north was destroyed. For that reason he was satisfied with getting large reparations'

But I want you to look at the placing of the word 'because'.
Is your pupil explaining why Clemenceau was satisfied?
I would suggest that the way he has constructd the sentence makes it look rather that he is explaining why Clemenceau wanted to get revenge of Germany.

I find it to be a very difficult skill for pupils to pick up, this explaining.
The key is to train them so that they explain the issue flagged up in the question.
I used to have pupils who were utterly incapable of recognising what they had to explain, and ended up just trying to explain everything!

Again, I suspect if your pupil had turned what he was saying round so that the explanation was explicit and directed at the right issue, then he would have begun to move towards level 3, like this:

Clemenceau was satisfied with getting large reparations because most of the war took place in France and most of the north was destroyed,'

but again he would have nailed it by adding more explanation:

Large reparations would help France to repair (hence reparations) the damage, and it was justice because Germany had caused the war (Article 231) that Germany should pay for the war.


Your pupil does have a couple of explicit explanations which are valid:
  • Lloyd George was satisfied with destroying the German Navy because before the war they threatened our trade and colonies and now they couldn't.
  • The harsh treaty did not satisfy [Wilson] because now he thought that the Germans would seek revenge
.
But I think you will agree they are still fairly shallow and unchallenging as explanations go; I think I would be asking the pupil go offer more/go deeper.

Thus I agree with the exam marker.
Your pupils essay soundly identifies and describes reasons for satisfaction/dissatisfaction, but he has not done enough to demonstrate that he knows how to explain why the statesmen were dis/satisfied - to show 'explanation', I would have been asking for deeper, explicit explanations of WHY the different provisions of the treaty pleased the statesmen.

Any help?

I might pay you to bring in someone from the board to work you through all the markschemes in this way, or to spend a year or two as an examiner.
When you understand how the markschemes work, and what the question is looking for, then you are able far better to work with the pupils to improve their grades.

#3 HuwPhill

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 07:14 PM

Thanks John,

the mark scheme suggests that for explaining satisfaction and dissatisfaction the award should be 7-9 marks

and the example they give as an acceptable explanation is

" wilson was not satisfied he feared that Germanys harsh treatment would result in further conflict he had counselled for a less harsh approach"

Hardly seems more in depth than what our candidate offered.

and also

#4 Alex Ford

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 07:34 PM

From our experiences this year it seems that EXPLAIN band marks are only given fro explicit links to the question. Many of ours gave very detailed answers to similar questions with implicit links to the question and were also limited to the same band. I think we are going to have to hammer this idea of explicit linking this year

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#5 HuwPhill

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 09:59 PM

I have put a few templates together for the explain questions, 1b,2b,3b and the how far, do you agree type questions 2c, 3c etc. perhaps you could have a look, amend comment etc Alsov attached a template for cartoon q1....all the kids got 7/7 on that one so at least I can do something right!

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