To whom it may concern,
Last night, a feeling of utter frustration swept over me – my teenage daughter in final years of high school was going through the angst of preparing for an assessment. She is a diligent student, works hard and in the most part is studying subjects that interest her and align with her passion. She wants to learn but is tied down to playing a guessing game of “What’s going to be on the test?” - a painful and futile activity. Why do we still put students through this procedure when we know there are better assessment methods? What is the point of the angst?
I know, we have all been there and survived but I am finding it very difficult to defend (in fact I can’t) a system that uses such assessment procedures. I understand that our society seems to need to filter and sort our students in order to determine their future prospects, but there has to be a better way.
A message received afterwards “It wasn’t great, most of what I prepared wasn’t used, and what I needed I didn’t really know. …. It’s over now ”. It would make me much happier to hear her say, “I really wanted to know about XYZ and I did and shared it with my class”
It really seems to me that it is all about surviving the system and not learning – well, certainly not learning to any great purpose.
The groundswell of thought seems to be with me, educational leaders are all saying that things need to change (see my previous post) , but unfortunately it won’t be in time for the dissatisfied teenager in my house or her mother.
Frustrated mother and educator
PS for anyone interested in a less personal rant about assessment options and possibilities, the following may interest you:
The Innovative Educator – 9 ways to assess without standardised testing
WhatEdSaid – 10 ways to assess learning without tests
Assessment without High-Stakes Testing: Protecting Childhood and the Purpose of School