Sunday, June 13, 2021

Stanford 1996

Earlier today I mentioned a report on the radio on research that attitude going into a standardized test can adversely affect outcomes, particularly for minorities and for women. The ground breaking research came from Stanford University in 1996.

Not much new there in the last 25 years except that colleges, and universities have done little to nothing to remove the stigma for minorities and women concerning lower performances on standardized tests. Educators, administrators and parents remain fixated on standardized tests results. And standardized testing should be considered as yet another element of institutionalized bias against minorities and women.

We need to redesign education at all levels to bring about the purposeful integration of the hands. 

To become a licensed public school teacher in the US you begin by sitting in classrooms being lectured to for your first three years. Then and only then do you enter the classroom for practice teaching. 

In a program that understood the necessity of hands-on learning, your practice teaching would begin your first or second semester of college providing concrete examples to draw upon in your consideration of the abstract material presented in class. 

In med school instead of spending your first four years cracking the books and attempting to memorize information that's abstract given your lack of experience, you would start the practice of medicine as a nurses aid and work your way up concurrent with your classroom experience. Not only would you be learning from the concrete rather than the abstract, you would know that your own learning was immediately of value to others. You might even be able to offset some of the costs of getting your doctor's degree.

I can guarantee that properly designed programs in medicine and education would reduce the number of dropouts, and improve both  professions.

But then, what do I know about all this? I'm just a woodworking son of a Kindergarten teacher who became a proponent of Educational Sloyd. But if what I say resonates as true to your own experience, pass this along.

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning likewise.

1 comment:

  1. It's a bit jarring to read an assertion of how women suffer from institutional bias in education testing when they have outnumbered men in all levels of educational attainment for more than 30 years.
    Claude Steele's research on stereotype bias/threat has been shown to have a reproducibility problem and is now generally understood to be insignificant in explaining testing outcomes.
    There are good tests and badly prepared ones as well as helpful uses of testing and excuses for general busy work.