Wednesday, August 09, 2017

A friend sent this about testing

We have a system of education based on standardized testing but standardized testing is a very poor way to measure what children know. This link comes from a retired science teacher friend and fellow box maker:
Whether you’re trying to measure proficiency or growth, standardized tests are not the answer.
I am ready for my third day of teaching at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking and am beginning to spell Connecticut without spell check. It's a state whose spelling gets a bit of getting used to. But just as I'm spelling Connecticut with greater certainty, human beings are constantly engaged in a process of applying certainty to uncertain things.

 My students have their first boxes hinged. Mistakes have been made. Lessons have been learned and we've been enjoying being together in a creative process. That should serve as a model for American education.

The following is from Charles H. Hamm, Mind and Hand, 1886:
It is the most astounding fact of history that education has been confined to abstractions. The schools have taught history, mathematics, language and literature and the sciences to the utter exclusion of the arts, not withstanding the obvious fact that it is through the arts alone that other branches of learning touch human life... In a word, public education stops at the exact point where it should begin to apply the theories it has imparted... At this point the school of mental and manual training combined--the Ideal School--begins; not only books but tools are put in to the hands of the pupil, with this injunction of Comenius; "Let those things that have to be done be learned by doing them."
Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning likewise.

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