I found this article on Mr. Obama's commentary regarding offering "too much" testing to children in high school and primary education. I posted a few comment to follow the article that I will repost here.
Good for Mr. Obama. A liberal interest regarding our testing structure. Who would conclude that our ways are perfect? I think there is substance and I am clearly glad this is a concern or particular on his possible agenda. Go B.H.O. Get them in the seat and make it fit. Thanks!
I remember NOTHING from ANY Standardized test…. EVER. So if it made me “smarter”, I must say I do not receive the blessing of knowing true or false. That said, in this age of internet and free knowledge access being more ubiquitious, we need to train stronger minds who can motivate themselves to bring themselves truth and prosperity. This does not mandate a “test scare” or “testing process”. The children should learn to learn and the teachers are the ones who can devise constructive educational processes to learn. A night staying up cramming is not the worst experience and I know I’ve had a few of my own, but that said, it did not give me a long term benefit and only a breif experience. That said, keep the testing, but consider its relevance and necessity in the order of producing stronger minds.
In addition to the above, I was just reading an article today from the Boston Globe on children’s ability to learn and seek learning. In a study, it was found that children who are given proper instruction and the capacity to explore their environment are more apt to make discovery. In fact, rote academic learning may not be the highest producer of intelligent insight and discovery. It really is important to allow for exploration and clearly in our academic pursuits which do involve routine testing, one is forced to stay on the beat and stay away from the expoloration process where TRUE learning DOES take place. Just a thought. Thanks!
Testing is not about accountability. It is about ability to complete a program of study and perhaps be able to utilize the knowledge to make decisions. To say that one must account for his studies does not ensure that he or she has the capacity to apply the science to a problem or a series of questions. That said, the name of the game is making stronger citizens. Not automatons who are here for the test to ace and then shelve the book for the duration of their existence. Montessori schools are of the notion I believe that one can be an independant learner and master and advance in discovery. Though this is not the ideal model for all schools, its principles are solid and should be incorporated in the schools at some level. I went to a public high school. I have known some privately schooled children whose school (Hawken- Cleveland) was set up to allow for a liberal and free moving educational process. It was like walking out of the gulag and visiting a hotel for blessed thinkers. I must say that I would love to be in a situation where my thoughts and discovery process are not inhibited and in this day and age with internet learning and more media, one can certainly devise a more encompassing curriculum in his private time. The goal should be to produce the thinkers and acheivers of tomorrow. Not the army of ants that can devour tests and sharpen their number 2 pencil. Just a thought. Thanks.