Saturday, April 23, 2011

Creating Problems Solvers Who Need Answer Choices

The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things,
not simply of repeating what other generations have done
- men who are creative, inventive and discoverers
- Jean Piaget

The accountability movement has created a generation of problem solvers who rely on the fact that they will have multiple choices.  This is the time of year where many states begin giving their standardized assessments. I thought I’d provide some thoughts about what I believe and practice as a leader in regards to standardized testing.
I believe that….
  • students should be creators of content not consumers of bubble sheets
  • true learning and discovery are open-ended and have no answer choices
  • students that are taught to think and problem solve without answer choices can easily navigate a multiple-choice test
  • putting a multiple choice test on a computer does not make it more engaging or effective
  • time spent on teaching test-taking strategies would be better spent on teaching a love of reading
  • students are passionate about saving the world not circling the best answer
  • performance based assessments provide a more authentic form of assessment
  • students should get multiple opportunities to demonstrate knowledge of a concept
  • no teacher got into this profession for the purpose of teaching students how to bubble in answers
  • the leader has a responsibility to go beyond what a multiple choice assessment can measure
These are just a few of my beliefs in regards to the current accountability movement.  What do you think?  What would you add and/or delete?

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