Below is the trailor for the documentary on education "Race to Nowhere". The movie deals with some of the issues that we have been looking at here at TeacherAde. So I wanted to pose the question
"How much is too much?"
Watch the Video and then will discuss the implications.
So if our students are performing but they are not learning where is it that we are going wrong? When is it okay to back up off the throttle and start working on real education where our students are able to think critically?
Critical Thinking- Evaluating claims, assumptions, and implications of a particular point of view without simply accepting them as facts.
To be able to achieve our true purpose in education, students have to be able to think critically. If we are not thinking critically we are unable to produce innovation.
So in this "race" to be the smartest we are trying to prove our kids worth by tests. If they can pass the test then we will have qualitative data suggesting that WE WIN THE RACE!!!
The only problem is that we have put so much emphasis on being able to pass a test that says you are smart, that we have underminded the vary basis for education. Were completely focused on performance when we leaving production lagging behind.
Production is the things that we create, that we use, that make our lives better. Performance is the way what we creates/ produce works.
So put simply you have the new car. That is the production, and in 3 months after your purchase a recall on the car is issued. That is the performance.
The production is the object and the performance is the methods of evaluating the object to determine if it will help us in our lives.
In education we are all about trying to improve performance, or we are trying to prove that we are capable of critical thinking or making things better. When in reality all we have done is taught how to evaluate but not how to produce. i.e- Teaching to the Test
This why we see a push for "Standards Based Classrooms", and high stakes testing and a reduction in the arts and humanities. We are not teaching our students to be creative or teaching our students to produce new things. We are just teaching them how to take test. There are literally students in classes that teach nothing but test taking stategies. What?
Well, you do not know the material well enough to pass the test so, we'll teach you ways to pass without knowing the actual information. Why? If they are capable of learning "test taking strategies" aren't they capable of learning information about the material that is to be tested?
What will high test scores from people who are unimaginative and dull amount to? The fact is that performance assessments are worthless without production!!! We need to begin positioning our students attention away from the test and towards collaboration, creativity, presentation, or production.
What is your take on this?