I don't worry so much about those tests. Wise people know that these tests
don't reflect what is taught or learned. Wise teachers view them as a nuisance
and do what they are told, yet figure out a way to teach for the test while
teaching effectively. It is a shame we have this little game going on. But
the same thing goes on in business. It is just surface stuff. It is a game.
I usually blow it off so I don't get so mad.
The testing movement is not about measuring learning; it is about politicians
trying to create an impression that learning is taking place.
Those individuals who value tests think of learning as a product rather than a
process. We will just have to hope that they will understand at some point.
Nevertheless, I do leave room to be shown that I need to change my own thinking
about this viewpoint. I know I don't have the truth. I value the search for it
though. :-) I think I have more questions than answers. I hope I can get to the
point when I can figure out the right questions to ask.
Dr. Diane C. Gregory
Director, Undergraduate & Graduate
Studies in Art Education
Texas Woman's University
Denton, TX 76204
Quoting Marvin Bartel <email@example.com>:
> Teaching for mass testing generally fails to teach the higher levels of mind
> formation and thinking. Education in America is seriously regressing unless
> schools teach for:
> 1. the ability to give multiple solutions to problems (like real life)
> 2. the ability to notice things that need to be noticed (needed to make the
> world a better place)
> 3. the ability to make choices where the rules have not yet been established
> and/or where rules are outdated and/or not fair (needed for justice in the
> 4. deal intelligently with situations for which there are no clear elements
> and principles (like much of life)
> 5. the ability to think divergently and consider opposite answers and unique
> answers (like those who solve the tough problems)
> 6. the ability to tolerate and appreciate diversity and the significant
> contributions realized when divergent points of view are brought to a problem
> (needed to keep the world from destroying itself)
> 7. the ability to add beauty and see ugliness (to make life worth living)
> and many other similar kinds of thinking that the tests are not now testing.
> Good art teaching can teach all of the above quite effectively.
> I wish we had good tests for these kind of things, but until we do, teaching
> for the tests only teaches some fairly standardized job skills, but not the
> kind of thinking and life skills that are needed to live in and sustain a
> free society that needs a responsible citizenry.
> Preparation for skillfully working in slavery and totalitarian societies is
> no longer satisfactory. According to economist, Richard Florida, at least 30
> percent of todays work force is employed in jobs that require high levels of
> creativity. People are not just using prior knowledge and skills, but they
> have to respond to unanticipated scenarios. All people use creativity in
> their personal lives.
> This is important for all levels of students. Many of the lower level
> students are dropping out of high school because of all the teaching for
> tests. In fact, schools have incentives to look the other way. The schools
> do better on the tests when these students drop out.
> Art education is better than teaching for limiting tests. Art teachers may
> need to make some gestures to keep jobs in the political situations they live
> in, but creative teachers can also do much more.
> Dr. Marvin Bartel, Ed.D.
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