In my previous reply to this message, I should have added the following comments:
The current testing insanity under NCLB and Race to the Top pushes such skills to the backseat because the pressure teachers face to get their students to pass these exams means that they have little time to help students develop these other skills because they are not tested much, if at all, on these standardized tests. These tests focus on whether students have acquired some level of knowledge, not on whether they can use it. Even if one can argue that such tests attempt to test that, there is not much focus on that. And Ralph Raimi's article I had cited in my previous post suggests serious flaws that can arise with using standardized tests to test whether students can apply their knowledge to real-world situations, at least in mathematics. Our main emergency in education reform is scrapping NCLB and Race to the Top. As long as those laws continue to hold, any educational reforms are moot.
On 10/15/2010 at 3:48 am, GS Chandy wrote:
> Shimon Zimbovsky posted Oct 12, 2010 6:34 AM: > > > > High schools should prepare their students > foremost > > for college acceptance. We should begin with that. > > Gaining the necessary skills to succeed in college > > and eventually graduate is a function of both > > successful high school preparation and college > > performance. We shouldn't be so naive to assume > that > > a student's college success can be attributed to > his > > high school preparation. > > > I'd suggest that high schools should pursue various > objectives, amongst which may be things like** > [** Objectives listed below appear in the order they > came to mind - the numbers preceding each element on > lists represent only that and nothing more - many of > the objectives are not necessarily specific to high > school level learning only]: > > 1. To help the student become all that he/she can be > 2. To ensure the student graduates with the kind of > knowledge and understanding of various disciplines > that would help him/her to deal effectively with the > working world he/she may encounter > 3. To provide the student with needed skills and > abilities to learn further and deeper in subjects of > interest > 4. To prepare the student for college acceptance > 5. To promote the student's ability to think > analytically and critically on issues > 6. To ensure the student effectively read, write and > do arithmetic effectively enough to be able to cope > with the real world around after he/she graduates > from high school > 7. To enable the student use a library effectively > > 8. To enable the student to use a dictionary > effectively > 9. To enable the student to use an encyclopedia > effectively > 10. To convince the student that all this 'stuff' > that he/she has to learn is really worth something > for him/her in his/her later life > 11. To ensure the student develops the ability to > think analytically and critically on issues for > himself/herself > 12. Etc,etc, etc, ETC! > > Some of those objectives above are things that should > have started from Day 1 of his/her school career, and > should continue right through life. > > I trust the list above may help indicate that the > *tasks* a school is entrusted with are more than > preparing the student for college. > > More useful (and much more important) than the plain > and simple list is the 'structure' attached herewith: > this is an Interpretive Structural Model (ISM) > showing my perceptions of how each of the above > objectives may "CONTRIBUTE TO" the others - no > special validity is claimed for my perceptions > indicated in the model - but I do hope it helps > convince that the objective of "school > teaching+learning" is a whole lot more complex than > may be widely recognized. > > (Regrets to Robert Hansen: The structure illustrating > the point alas contains the 'boxes' that you hate to > see - sorry about that). > > [Some background about the concepts and 'systems > science' underlying this kind of structure is > provided along with my posting at > http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7234262 > &tstart=0 ]. > > GSC > > > Message was edited by: GS Chandy > > > Message was edited by: GS Chandy