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What are we teaching our kids (NO POLITICS)
Posted: 27 June 2011 09:13 AM   [ # 31 ]  
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They could try putting useful information on the tests.  Even what these kids are learning by rote and promptly forgetting is generally of no use in real life.

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Posted: 27 June 2011 09:42 AM   [ # 32 ]  
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The problem with the standardized tests is more than the rote memorization, you got that right.  Kids memorize the info, fill in the little dots on the answer sheets, and if they do remember the stuff, they don’t know the WHY of it. 

As I’m typing this, Corgan is playing SuperMario Galaxy.  He doesn’t want to figure out what to do, he wants to peek in the “cheat book”.  And we’re big meanies because we won’t let him, unless he has at least TRIED to figure it out.  If his teachers aren’t allowed to teach him to think, it’s our job as his Big People. 

And yeah, I said the teachers aren’t allowed.  Actual teaching gets them into trouble.

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Posted: 27 June 2011 11:04 AM   [ # 33 ]  
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to give my two cents.
My father taught for 30 years, 1975 to 2005. He saw a big change in the school system from when it was okay to give a kid a strapping to not being able to scold a kid. Having family members who were teachers to friends being teachers they all say it isn’t the same world as when we went to school. Looking at science textbook for grade 8’s that my father used in his last year was material that I took in grade 11 (ten years earlier). His first year of supple teaching he wrote two chalkboards full of notes for the kids to copy. When he finished no one had copied anything down, one little girl raised her hand and told my father that they didn’t know how to read writing. This was a grade 6 class. Another example is his grade 6&7 math class not knowing the times tables. We live in a memoryless society; no need to learn how to spell, we have spell checker; no need to learn the times tables, we have calculators for that; no need to remember phone numbers, we have a directory on our phones.

It’s a different world out there.

I’m just worried when my son goes to school, will he have to know and be able to apply Newton’s Three Laws before he’s allowed to go to pre-school?

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Posted: 28 June 2011 05:54 PM   [ # 34 ]  
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Maybe we should band together, ne?

When I do my classes with the team teachers in elementary school, many think I am too hard on them. The students don’t know the answer. I said of course they don’t know. That’s why we are learning it. But how are they suppose to answer? They think what the answer could be and then after that I tell them the correct answer.

Class time now. To be continued.

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Posted: 01 July 2011 10:29 PM   [ # 35 ]  
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The problem with teaching to pass the standardized test is that it means they are NOT teaching some of the more basic, and important skills.

Not always, standardized tests usually centre on critical thought and the application of basic, important skills, but this is not what I was saying. I don’t think we should standardize tests, so I don’t think we should teach to a standardized test. Every kid is different, and so every kid should have the opportunity to prove their learning in a fashion appropriate for them.

If we spend all our time making the child memorize 2 + 2 = 4 so that he can write the answer on the test, we are NOT teaching problem solving and critical thinking… Teaching the child how to figure out how to arrive at that answer is MORE important.

We, in Canada, are doing this. We spend most of our time on mental math strategies that help kids solve problems, not regurgitate memorized answers.

AND we have a nasty habit of keeping a year or so behind the educational theory in the US of A, so if we are doing this I would be surprised if your teachers were NOT already supposed to be focusing on this as well.

And, usually, a standardized test would require critical thought. They can’t test on specifics because they don’t know what specifics were taught to each individual child in each individual class in each individual school in each individual socio-economic context in each etc. And if you look at the curriculum documents you realize that the education boards don’t overly care either. They are more focused on skills like critical thought and problem solving. The 2+2 is just a way to get to that.

The problem with a standardized test is not the content being tested, but the way it is being tested. If you have an SAT analogy that asks about the shape of your yacht’s sail you are going to disadvantage the 300 million+ Americans that have likely never set foot on a yacht. Standardized tests are constructed with certain racial, social, political, and economic biases in them that automatically disadvantage the students just by how they were written.

Also, we are not teaching children to be aware of their surroundings and their community…. but the testing, IMO, seems to be testing for the wrong things.

I mean no disrespect, but just out of curiosity, How did this subject come up? How are you being exposed to the way your schools are testing their students? How much of a view do you have into the assessment structures you are talking about?

I am only asking because I want to know why you believe they are NOT doing this?

Wolfensolo:

The test has been set up to make the grading easy and speedy. It ahs nothing to do with the actual checking of the student’s true knowledge.

I am gonna disagree with you here because that is just a simple fallacy of logic. A does not necessarily lead to B, and the speed/ease at which a test is marked does not necessarily effect the validity of that test. You could make a test of nothing but long essay questions that did not test what it was supposed to be testing.

Imagine a high school biology test that takes a full 75 minute period for the student to write. You need a quick and easy way to mark that because the teacher will often have to mark somewhere in the neighbourhood of 90 tests. That could take a heck of a long time.

The validity of the test doesn’t come so much from how it is marked as from how the questions are constructed. If you understand what ideas or abilities or skills you want to test (here we call them “specific curriculum outcomes”) you should be able to make a question that adequately represents a student’s knowledge or ability by only skimming for a few buzz words.

An example of the converse of this would be multiple choice questions. Those have traditionally been designed to trick students more than test what they know. They will have 3 or 4 or 5 possible answers that look almost exactly alike, except for maybe a small variation. At this point you are testing the student’s ability to read, not their knowledge of biology.

It means to teach your subject but also teach them how to grow their minds to think, question, and explain them selves as best as they can.

This is the ideal, and this is also what I was talking about with my previous post. The problem is that this statement assumes that all students come into a classroom as eager-beavers ready to meet new horizons. This is just simply not the case at all. So my response to Rhade’s fear that content seems to be slipping was that, yes, in many cases content IS slipping. But one of the biggest reasons is because a teacher’s primary job is not to teach the content.

You can’t teach math if every kid in the room is throwing junk. The school as a whole needs to teach them basic social skills and proper ways to deal when they don’t get their way. Sometimes teachers will do a whole month of community building exercises before they even touch the curriculum. If they didn’t they would never have the kids on their side, and the kids would never want to learn anything, and therefore never learn.

So my response was that life would be so much easier for everyone if kids did not come to school thinking that acting out in abusive, hateful, or destructive ways was a proper use of their time. If they show up with a good attitude (thanks to their home life) then they will be in school with a good attitude, and then everyone can get a lot further.

The problem with the standardized tests is more than the rote memorization, you got that right. Kids memorize the info, fill in the little dots on the answer sheets, and if they do remember the stuff, they don’t know the WHY of it.

That has nothing to do with standardized tests, that is just because the kid was forced to take a class they had no interest in.

Just so we are all on the same page:

A standardized test is not just a regular sheet of paper test in front of the student where they have so many multiple choice, so many short answer and then an essay question.

A standardized test is something that has been built by a central authority, like a school board or a state/provincial department of education. A standardized test says that all of our students/graduates will need to be able to do [x] so we are going to test all of them on [x].

Because of this goal, they make up ONLY ONE test for everyone. Hence, the name “standardized.” Every student in the given area has to write the exact same test with the exact same resources so they can all be plotted on the same graph.

The problem with this is that all students are different. If you subscribe to Howard Gardener’s theory of multiple intelligences there are at least 8 or 9 categories of students out there who learn in 8 or 9 different ways (examples being kinaesthetic intelligences, logical/mathematical intelligences, linguistic intelligences, intrapersonal intelligences, etc)

We also have different learning modalities. Some students are kinaesthetic learners who really need to get up, touch things, and learn by doing, while others are visual or auditory learners who can get all they need by observing.

Most in the field of educational theory believe these are all capacities. We are all a bit kinaesthetic, and a bit logical mathematical, and a bit everything else, and we just tend to favour one or a few modes of learning.

A standardized test ignores all of this and assumes everyone is the same with everything. It does not give options and it does not leave ANY room for a teacher to use their own professional judgement and discretion when marking. Normally if a student is mostly there, or didn’t quite use the right words, but we know they have the concept down we will give them some points for it.

Standardized tests look for VERY specific things and have no mercy for you if you get something slightly wrong.

Also, I will say that this is what they are telling teachers to understand and work with. This does not mean that all teachers are doing this. JBug’s story illustrates perfectly that there are some people in the system who should not be in the system. They teach for all the wrong reasons and do not care about their students. This is another problem of the education systems in our neck of the woods. One more of MANY problems.

I am not giving all teachers a blank cheque and a pat on the back here. I have met some pretty useless people in my short time in the system. I’m just telling you how things are likely set up. The pawns have a mind of their own.

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Posted: 01 July 2011 10:46 PM   [ # 36 ]  
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I’m just worried when my son goes to school, will he have to know and be able to apply Newton’s Three Laws before he’s allowed to go to pre-school?

Don’t worry too much about your son’s schooling. They will do what they can, and if you find they are not teaching him everything you want then talk to them about it, AND introduce the stuff yourself.

Kids are natural scientists. Lily and I are always exploring things just in our regular run our errands kind of day. Have fun with them, be curious, and show them that discovery and knowledge are valuable. They will take the reigns in their own learning.

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Posted: 03 July 2011 07:44 PM   [ # 37 ]  
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From my father, he taught two generations of students and is well liked by his students. It didn’t matter to him if they were rich or poor, if they made 60% or 100%, he treated all his kids the same. If I go grocery shopping with him he’ll run into an old student and they both have a great laugh. When he asks them how they are doing, it’s with genuine interest.
The education systems is always changing, whoever is in power have their own idea of how the system should be. When I was in school there was a fundamental shift to have the focus on computers and the trade classes fell by the roadside.
I saw a text book from the sixties where it described the role of a wife. The education system is always changing for the good and the bad.

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Posted: 04 July 2011 12:47 AM   [ # 38 ]  
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As your in Canada you would be unfamiliar with US Standardized Testing. So, I’ll fill ya in on a bit..

Not always, standardized tests usually centre on critical thought and the application of basic, important skills, but this is not what I was saying.

Not so in US Standardized testing. Here, we test Math, Spelling, and Grammar.  Questions are asked multiple choice. Questions would be asked like

2 + 2 = _

A 4
B 5
C 3
D None of the above.

Basically, all ya have to do is memorize 2+2=4 and you can answer the question. No emphasis is put on “how did you arrive at that answer?” It’s wrote memorization.

How are you being exposed to the way your schools are testing their students? How much of a view do you have into the assessment structures you are talking about?

I am being exposed to the way the kids are being tested as I have 2 step kids that have to deal with these test soon. As such, parents are allowed to go in and view the tests, testing procedures, grading methods, etc. Parents are, however, NOT permitted input into any of this. These tests are structured, under the “no child left behind” law, by federal guidelines.

  The test has been set up to make the grading easy and speedy. It ahs nothing to do with the actual checking of the student’s true knowledge.

I am gonna disagree with you here because that is just a simple fallacy of logic. A does not necessarily lead to B, and the speed/ease at which a test is marked does not necessarily effect the validity of that test.

I actually have to AGREE with the previous statement that the test are setup for easy grading and NOT evaluating the students. The whole test is written out in multiple choice format and designed to be graded by a computer. You simply fill in the bubble, on the answer sheet, for the answer you want. In order test things, like critical thinking skills, you would need some kind of writing exercise that requires someone to READ the test and evaluate the written answer. This is not done on our tests here in the US. To check a child’s problem solving skills, you would need some kind of evaluation on how the child solved the problem, again, this is not present in the US Testing system. All that matters, on US Standardized Tests is the ability to fill in the right circle with a number 2 pencil.

The problem here, is what is being taught, tested for, and why. Because the kids MUST score at a certain level on these tests (or the school looses it’s funding), there is so much the child MUST know to pass the test, AND the limited time the teacher has to convey the info (usually 3 months), the teachers don’t have time to teach. All the have time to do is put up the answers and have the kids memorize them. Testing in the US is typically done about December. School typically starts about September and the teacher MUST get the student to know all they need to pass that test. Further, there is no follow up test (before the end of the school year) to mark any improvement or change. The child wont be tested again till the following year. So, if the student dud not learn what he needed to this year, he wont get a chance again till he/she is in the next grade and must now pass a test that is harder then the year before.

The method of testing is a mess, the timing is a mess, and how we prep for the tests is all wrong, IMO. The result of THESE failures is an education system that is focused on passing the tests for monetary reasons and not actually TEACHING the child.

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Posted: 04 July 2011 03:12 PM   [ # 39 ]  
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parents are allowed to go in and view the tests


But how many do?  Even if they have no power over the tests, they can take action at home about problem areas.  Too many parents don’t do that, which is my main issue.

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Posted: 04 July 2011 03:26 PM   [ # 40 ]  
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Not so in US Standardized testing. Here, we test Math, Spelling, and Grammar. Questions are asked multiple choice. Questions would be asked like

What caused the Civil War?
A. Slavery
B. States Rights
C. Argicultural vs Industrial societies
D. Humans like war

Now, the correct answer could be any of them, depending on how you THINK.  Kids taking this test would not be encouraged to THINK, just to parrot whichever one is currently in vogue.

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Posted: 05 July 2011 09:24 PM   [ # 41 ]  
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I suppose I should ask what these tests are. Who made them up and what are they used for? This all really hinges on the answers to those questions!

Not so in US Standardized testing.Here, we test Math, Spelling, and Grammar.

Our standardized tests are created by a company in New Jersey (I think it is Pearson) Who make up tests for both our countries. They basically have a monopoly on standardized tests. Every area has different specifics their governments want schools to focus on, but for the most part, every test I have seen (and I have seen a bunch from you folks as well) would have your 2+2 example, but then ask the student to show their work. It would never appear as a multiple choice. In this way they are not just testing memorization (although some kids can memorize really lenghtly answers), they are critiquing the process.

Most of the multiple choice questions usually have a fairly large paragraph ahead of them. Example, one chemestry test I recently looked over (from Nevada, I believe) had a big long paragraph about how fluoride helps your teeth, but is also the active ingredient in rat poison, so what’s the deal, it asked?

The question ended in a multiple choice format which caused the student to have to apply the knowledge they [hopefully] gained in class to critically analyse the issue. Turns out it is all about concentrations of the chemicals.

Anyway, based on what I have seen I think your 2+2=? example is a bit misleading. I believe you are just trying to simplify the matter for the sake of reading time [which I have never figured out how to do, so I commend you!], but multiple choice questions aren’t usually that simple and you are using content that fundamentally disagrees with a multiple choice format.

If you ever see someone using a standardized math test where equations are meant to be solved using answers from a multiple choice array, you should yell at them, tell them they wasted their money, and then find a new school board for your step kids.

I actually have to AGREE with the previous statement that the test are setup for easy grading and NOT evaluating the students. The whole test is written out in multiple choice format and designed to be graded by a computer. You simply fill in the bubble, on the answer sheet,

This is totally what I was talking about. Multiple choice tests are a big pile of garbage. They give the student a few options that are so close to one another many students become confused. They are fundamentally, and consciously designed to trick a student BEFORE they test what the student knows about the content. This is a travesty parading in assessment’s clothing. AND when you get a standardized test that is ALSO multiple choice then you have an even bigger pile of garbage.

The other part of what I was saying was not referring to the scan-tron bubble sheets that you mentioned. I was just talking about easily graded tests. Tests should be easily graded otherwise one test would take a whole semester to grade. And just because a test is quickly and easily graded, does not mean it is invalid. It all comes down to how the questions are constructed. As much as I have a hate-on for multiple choice tests, they can be very decent representations of a student’s abilities and understandings as long as the author understands the format’s problems.

I still tend to stay away from them, though because I am an english/history guy. I like to make kids write. smile

In fact, the best way to do it is to put a rubric right on the test so that both the student and the teacher know exactly what is expected in a perfect answer. It gives the kids something to go reference to make sure they have included everything, it helps the teacher remember exactly what to look for, and it helps connect the teacher and student by laying the assessment scheme out there for everyone to see. There are no tricks and no surprises. Everyone is on the same page.

This is how many of your greatest minds in assessment theory say it should be done, and many departments and school boards are beginning to mandate this.

Just keep in mind, though, you are favouring the multiple choice example, but not all multiple choice tests are standardized, and not all standardized tests have multiple choice sections.

parents are allowed to go in and view the tests, testing procedures, grading methods, etc. Parents are, however, NOT permitted input into any of this.

What is the instructional scheme like though? Have you seen any of the formative assessments or the order in which the concepts are scaffolded?

again, depending on the way the information was taught, your example could be a great way to test!

The problem arrises with the little condition that it depends on how the information was taught, and the authors of a standardized test have no idea how ANYTHING was taught! They might know the content and methods that were INTENDED, but even that is a stretch sometimes. I guess we asked Pearson to tweek a little bit of their outcome tracking software to help us make our assessment practices more authentic and valid and they told us to take a hike! Shows how qualified they are to make up tests for us!

The method of testing is a mess, the timing is a mess, and how we prep for the tests is all wrong

Testing, in many cases, IS a mess, I just think you are painting with too broad a brush here. I agree that STANDARDIZED tests are a waste of time. But not all tests are. And, not all teachers. You are asking what is wrong with education in your country, and I think your country has some really great ideas. It’s where we get a lot of our ideas from! The thing is that it takes time to implement them.

There are definite problems though. Universities still require percentage grading and certain types of tests and you guys still use the SATs, and untill universities stop requiring these things, the public schools will HAVE to keep their old-school (excuse the pun) assessment methods, to some extent. Also, some of the really old-guard teachers are just too stubborn and stuck in their ways to do anything differently. Most of the time we just need to wait for them to retire, but in some cases they can be fired for not doing their jobs properly, (example, going against your state’s department of education’s assessment strategies.)

Also, I am still not sure of the type of tests that you are referring to, as there are also a few different types of standardized tests that are used for very different purposes. BUT it sounds like you are referring to the tests that try to get a picture of the whole group’s abilities so they can make generalized statements like “75% of our students achieve equal to or greater than grade level reading.” These are used at key stages to get an idea of how the education system is performing, supplying data for studies and insight on what the schools should fix. They almost NEVER count on a student’s actual grades.

If you are referring to big final exams then that final test is usually the 2nd or 3rd or sometimes 4th time the students have been tested on that subject. ESPECIALLY if the teachers have just been teaching for the test all year/semester.

Regular, run of the mill tests throughout the year should have myriad formative assessments (like work sheets, in-class activities that check comprehension, etc.) leading up to them.

And again, i say SHOULD. It doesn’t always happen, and I think that is fundamentally what is wrong with education. Boards, departments and some teachers want to beam specific information into a child’s head without asking the child what they are interested in. Even our system that is very inclusive and mandates a teacher to differentiate our lesson plans for multiple intelligences and learning modalities assumes that almost every kid should have the same education with the same content all the way up to grade 9. They just want us to beam that info into their heads in a manner appropriate for their individual learning style.

I say we should let the students have a greater choice in terms of the content we teach. But that is just me.

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Posted: 05 July 2011 09:36 PM   [ # 42 ]  
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Try this one on for size:

The part of the brain that controls the acquisition and synthesization of language in a boy, on average, does not develop to an appropriate level for schooling until they are seven. On average, it develops in a girl by the time they are about 4 or 5.

Therefore, when girls go into school they are mentally able to understand and follow directions where as many boys simply cannot. Boys then end up getting punished for “acting out,” or they get bad marks, which are punishments for learning poorly, and generally end up with a less than rosy opinion of school.

We see the effects of this in just about every class. If you were to average out the girl’s grades at a certain grade level they would be higher than the average boy’s grades.

Does this correlation equal causation? if so, how to fix this?

Finland doesn’t start ANYONE in school until they are 7 years old. “Problem,” you say? “Late Start,” even? “wasting potential,” maybe? Finnish kids outscore our kids all the time. You can look at grade level scores OR age group scores (which might be a bit of a handicap as a 10 year old in finland might be two grades behind a 10 year old here/in USA) but they still cream us.

Best guess? It seems the correlation between age when beginning school and performance does equal causation to some extent. They believe the kids are more mentally developed and more able to handle the structure of school.

I am pretty sure finland has free child care too, so it probably doesn’t make a difference to the parents if the kids stay home an extra year or two.

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Posted: 05 July 2011 11:29 PM   [ # 43 ]  
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every test I have seen (and I have seen a bunch from you folks as well) would have your 2+2 example, but then ask the student to show their work.

A crossed the US a type of test is used called a ” Comprehensive Assessment Test.” The test books are even online for viewing in some states. This is the one used in Florida

http://fcat.fldoe.org/pdf/releasepdf/07/FL07_G5M_TB-Rel_WT_C002.pdf

it is ENTIRELY fill in the bubble….


Yes, it says to write out their work, on a separate sheet of paper, but that piece of paper is not part of the grading. Only the bubble sheet is graded. What happens with the “separate sheet” is irrelevant. Why? Because the teachers aren’t teaching problem solving, their teaching for the kids to fill in the correct bubbles on that test. In fact, the current curriculum states that teachers should not teach the child a method of finding the answer because “that is too restrictive to the child’s mind.” In stead, the teacher should allow the child to find the answer for him/herself and only correct the answer if it is wrong, not the method the child used. Well, if the answer is wrong, then obviously the method was flawed and the teacher SHOULD help correct that. ((BTW: The FEDERAL DoE memorandum on that method of teaching is available at most school boards if ya ask for it)).

As to the rest of your statement, I agree not all testing is bad. HOWEVER, the US School system is entirely built around those scan-ton bubble standard tests they can the CAT. The US “No child left behind” law bases federal funding, of schools, on the out come of those bubble tests and NOT the actual education the children are receiving. Further, schools are so worried about the federal funding that they have shifted their entire curriculum to give kids the best chances of scoring high, on those tests, and not teaching the kids to function.

I think, in the end, that is what it all comes down to. Money. The US School System has become so wrapped up in making the kids look good on paper, so they can get their money, they have forgotten HOW to teach the kids.

One sad fact I feel I need to point out, that kind of proves the point, is charter schools. Charter School do not receive federal money because they are privately funded by the businesses, and tuition fees from parents. Those privately owned, privately funded, schools have HIGHER graduation rates and a proven track record of providing a high education then the government funded/regulated school systems do. Charter Schools are also not tied to the teachers unions or other such agencies which also seem to be more concerned with money then educating. In those schools pay and employment are completely based on results. They don’t have issues with tenure, dismissal, etc. Unfortunately, the average American can’t afford to send their kids to such schools. It costs to much. These schools often meet and exceed the federal requirements.

As to the SATs, many colleges here are actually getting away from using SATs. While major Universities still use them, there is a growing trend that amoung the other colleges to ignore them and, instead, base admission on their own entrance exams. Heck, the college I went to required an entrance exam PER DEGREE I went through (a total of 3). In order to get into each degree course, I had to pass the exam for admission to that degree course. THIS methodology is becoming more common place here in the US.

One other problem I will point out, with the CAT testing. It only tests on knowledge of Math and Reading. No history, social studies, or science are included. So, we’re only testing on grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, spelling, addition, subtraction, and fractions. The kids of NO idea of the world in which we live because their not educated to in scientific method, logic, reason, how to under stand how world events shape their lives, none of the things needed to actually make them into functional adults.

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Posted: 06 July 2011 12:07 AM   [ # 44 ]  
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The test has been set up to make the grading easy and speedy. It has(corrected typo) nothing to do with the actual checking of the student’s true knowledge.

I am gonna disagree with you here because that is just a simple fallacy of logic. A does not necessarily lead to B, and the speed/ease at which a test is marked does not necessarily effect the validity of that test. You could make a test of nothing but long essay questions that did not test what it was supposed to be testing.

Imagine a high school biology test that takes a full 75 minute period for the student to write. You need a quick and easy way to mark that because the teacher will often have to mark somewhere in the neighbourhood of 90 tests. That could take a heck of a long time.

The validity of the test doesn’t come so much from how it is marked as from how the questions are constructed. If you understand what ideas or abilities or skills you want to test (here we call them “specific curriculum outcomes”) you should be able to make a question that adequately represents a student’s knowledge or ability by only skimming for a few buzz words.

An example of the converse of this would be multiple choice questions. Those have traditionally been designed to trick students more than test what they know. They will have 3 or 4 or 5 possible answers that look almost exactly alike, except for maybe a small variation. At this point you are testing the student’s ability to read, not their knowledge of biology.

 

I should have been clear that this type of testing should not be used as a shotgun. While yes the wording of the answers can be tricky to make sure the child is reading and comprehending correctly. The question has to be clear to know exactly which one is the true answer. I’ve seen so many tests here that depending on your take. More than one answer is possible. But only one is recognized as correct. There is nothing on the tests to show that what the child was thinking could have been right. The reason I bring this up is one answer is the grammatical way answering it while the other is just another way of answering the question. Yet both answers are correct to answer the question. There needs to be a balance. So I am not saying that we don’t need multichoice tests but to use them correctly as a filler. Or better yet. I go over the tests. I like to know what they were thinking and how they got what they got for the answer. Doesn’t matter if the answer was right or wrong. Then all can see and can know what to look out for. It’s just that some and not all teachers don’t go over the tests with a little detail to help them focus better on thinking and comprehending. And it should not be just for answering the test.

You are also right to point out that a test should have a point other than to be a test. I really wonder about the testing questions here when they use questions that we Americans don’t use anymore or have a question that is so grammer based that it doesn’T make any logical sense at all? I imagine that sometimes they sit down, drink sake, and then make these tests.

It’s amazing what happens when you truly talk with the students and let them fire away or encourage them to ask questions. Regardless if it’s subject related or not. A lot of things can be learned, tested, corrected if more would try.
Well I’d like to think so.  B-)

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Posted: 06 July 2011 09:19 AM   [ # 45 ]  
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There’s a heck of a lot of controversy over SATs here in the UK (our kids sit them at 7 and 14), and quite a few schools are refusing to enter the kids for them.  The argument is that they (the SATs) are being used to promote league tables, and so will very often favor the schools / areas where English is the first language (like my home area in south Warwickshire).

Yet areas in Birmingham (Sparkbrook springs to mind) have very high percentages of kids not having English as their first language, meaning that the school plummits in the league tables, and so meaning that parents are reluctant to send their kids there.

So in a way, it’s a pure waste of resources trying to impliment these damn tests.  I still stand by my original argument that tests are useful when taken in conjunction with teacher led assesment, but must not be taken as the be all and end all.

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