Testing for the test
Original post made on Apr 23, 2012
Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 23, 2012, 10:09 AM
on Apr 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm
rem is a registered user.
Gee, in my day (the FIFTYS) we didn't have "pre-test" . We either knew it or we repeated the grade...
I believe they were teaching us something called - THINKING!!!!!
on Apr 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm
I do think that when you need to have tests and a teaching program just designed to prep kids for a test, things have gone terribly wrong. Instead of saying "The tests are causing issues, we should rethink them." They say "The students are having issues with the tests, so we need to teach them to take the tests better." That is the tale wagging the dog and an example of much that is wrong with modern education assessment.
on Apr 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm
As a parent of students taking these tests, I can verify that they are very useful. Hearing various criticism of standardized testing in the media, I was somewhat skeptical of the testing. But I have now looked closely at the tests and they seem very well designed and test an amazing array of knowledge and critical thinking.
The pre-testing is also a very good and practical exercise. When my kids do the pre-test and get something wrong, we discuss the question and possible answers. We look at their answer and why they chose it. We look at what is the correct answer and discuss what the test makers are trying to test -- what knowledge or critical thinking is involved in finding the right answer.
As an example from doing this yesterday with my 3rd grader. One question asked what numbers are involved if the product is 750 (I don't remember the exact wording). My son got it wrong because he did not know that 'product' is the result of multiplication. He was unfamiliar with the terminology, though he could do the multiplication involved easily. After our discussion of the problem, he now knows what 'product' and 'quotient' mean and he was reminded that when he sees unfamiliar words, he should ask. As a result of the pre-testing, he increased his mathematical vocabulary and learned a lesson about learning -- ask questions.
This is not a waste of time or "teaching to the test" -- this is essential knowledge, problem solving, and learning how to learn.