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Topic: Re[2]: the use of calculators
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Pat Ballew

Posts: 356
Registered: 12/3/04
Re[2]: the use of calculators
Posted: Feb 6, 1997 12:29 PM
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I guess I'm not too concerned about the notes a student might bring in
on a calculator. I'm hoping for a test that somehow reflects the
ability to apply the ideas, and the student who spends all his time
looking for notes that might impact a question probably will probably
find the notes more of an impediment than an asset.
Whether it is an ethics question, or not, is dependent on the kids
view, not ours. I agree with (I'm not sure who) that expressed the
idea that we should model what we think are appropriate ideals and
actions, and press upon our students their responsibility to develop
and use a reasonable code of personal conduct also.
I would be disappointed if I felt the test turned out to be more
dependent on notes than knowledge. If I felt that had occurred, I
would continue to teach in the same way; but without the ability to
use the AP exam as a motivational device for my students, and an
evaluation tool for my program. It depends on whether the test
measures competency against the objectives rather than normed results.
I guess I wouldn't care as much what "other people's kids" did on
the test if I knew that my students could get an honest assessment of
their achievement. I'm not sure the CB, or the colleges, would want a
test that had 90% of students getting a 3 or better, but as a teacher,
I would love it, IF it meant they had really learned the material. I
guess in the final analysis, I'm going to treat this test as I do the
other AP tests, one measure of one day's performance for a kid, and
nothing more. My final evaluation of my students will be much more
dependent on the OTHER 185 days of the year that we spend together. I
hope they will do well, and I hope the test will be well written and I
hope I cover the right material and I hope......

Pat Ballew
Misawa, Japan

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