Thursday, 7 November 2013

Formative is to testing as summative is to creating

Streaming kids due to slight variances in intelligence is not a good thing. They create too much division, possibly oppressive structures of "smart" and "dumb" classes, and they are usually filled with a single type of thinking style. There needs to be less of a focus on assessment and streaming into AP classes to give students that "step ahead". Dividing and categorizing can be helpful to organize information but we are going too far. Our assessments are too flawed to be able to definitively select who should be in what class due to their intelligence. 

Even assessing our students within the classroom, there is a lot of subjectivity between a 60% and a 65%- not to mention the smaller increments in between. If our real goal is to provide our students with the best educational experiences we need to change the assessment methods that we have in our classrooms. We need to get rid of tests being our main focus of summative assessment and focus more on students creating something using the concepts that they have learned. Now, I understand that this would only increase the subjectivity of the assessment but I think that it creates better learning. The focus needs not to be on the assessment and seeing whether or not students can meet outcomes. The focus should shift to what one can do with what they have learned because, in the end, that is the real test, isn't it?

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