This article is extremely fitting to the Saskatchewan Education system, as more Standardized testing was announced a couple of months ago.
This article raises a few good points about the competitiveness of students in schools. While competitiveness is human nature it is also something that is taught within our school system; a part of socialization. We as teachers promote this competitiveness by using assessment and evaluation in our classes; whether it be physical education or Language Arts. I believe that there will always be a competitive nature within our classrooms, but the way we approach assessment and evaluation can help reinvent the way our students collaborate with one another in the classroom.
In ECS 410: Assessment and Evaluation I learnt the importance of descriptive feedback on assignments. If students are only given a “grade” they look at it and say nothing more. If descriptive feedback is given students can use it to improve their skills. Using descriptive feedback is something that needs to be taught within the classroom. Think about it; when you get an assignment back what’s the first think you look at? I know I look at the grade, then the comments. By involving students in the assessment process they can become aware of the importance of descriptive feedback and use it to give themselves and others constructive feedback. I believe this is a healthy competitiveness that can be used to benefit our students.
Secondly, I would like to talk about standardized assessment. This is something that we also talked about in my assessment class. Prior to post secondary education I hadn’t really thought much standardized testing, but after discussions and readings I came to realize that it doesn’t benefit students. First of all teachers are spending enough of their time on assessment and evaluation practices. Standardized tests become the centre of education as teachers are teaching “to the test.” Teachers want their students to do well on these tests, so majority of our time is spent teaching the material that is going to be covered. Our education system is supposed to be more innovative, but with the use of standardized material students are missing out on a huge part of their education. After students write these tests the school is given results that rank them. I mentioned above how important descriptive feedback is, so without this how are we as teachers supposed to support the needs of our students?
As you’ve probably gathered I am against the notion of Standardized testing. This article talked about how students in Finland excel without the use of standardized testing. This is where I believe the inquiry process comes into place as well as the importance of documentation within schools. This way students become more interested as well as involved in their learning.
That’s it for now!