“Why do I have to do this work or take this test?” As an educator and mother, I have heard this question countless times.
We as parents and teachers, we tell our children and students that they need to learn this information to get into a “good college” or get a “good job”! They take ALL of these tests so we can see how much they have learned. We have let society use exams to rate students, teachers, and schools. Why are we allowing society to tell us our worth via test scores? We are teaching kids to hate school, and we need to be sure that they love education! We are using all the test data to evaluate, or give value, to the teacher, student, and school. Really? Is this the best way to see the value in education?
We push differentiating instruction and talk about all children are different, yet give them the same test in masses to measure the same means. Really? Are exams a key factor in success?
As a life long learner myself, working on a graduate degree, I ponder many questions as I reflect…
How many A’s have I gotten in class that made a significant difference in my career? How many algebra equations do I use on a daily basis? How many important dates in history like when was the Battle of Little Bighorn, do I remember for longer than an hour after the exam? Do you still have memorized the Pythagorean Theorem? What’s a polynomial? Remember the value of pi, don’t you? How much meaningless information have we “learned” to never use again?
Our society and ways to learn is ever changing and the regurgitation of facts is not going to get our children what they need to survive in a society that can GOOGLE the answers to anything they need and want to know. Shouldn’t we be teaching them how to be inquisitive and curious to find out “how to” and “why” versus just the “facts”… just recite the facts back to me for now.
Society’s needs have changed.
Society needs to change!
How can we foster world changers, dream chasers, and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit, when we weigh so much on tests that cannot truly give us a value of a child and what they can become? Not all students sitting in those desks learn and apply their knowledge in the same way, yet we still hold so highly the traditional way of learning and assessing them. Why are we making so many students study information that does not fuel their drive? We sit and wonder why they are bored, act out, and drop out.
Not everyone we turn out of school will be a doctor, lawyer, or teacher. We need to prepare the masses to fill all the jobs that society needs to function. We need to prepare the masses just like we assess the masses, including everyone.
What’s the BIGGEST test we should be preparing them for? I would say SURVIVAL! Survival, in a new age of technology and resourcefulness that no longer needs to regurgitate information to show their worth, but show their worth by being a productive member of society, putting into action and applying what they have learned to be the best they can.
As a society that loves to rate and evaluate, on a scale from 1 to 10, are WE failing or preparing them?