Tag Archives: thoughtvec

Nugget 4: Standardized Tests

“The system of tensions and defenses it [testing] creates in the student’s personality are unrelated to the subject or the way people might relate to the subject. An exploitive (exploitative?) attitude is fostered. Not becoming involved with the subject, the student grabs for rote payoff rather than insight.”

I found a majority of the Dream Machines article to be engaging and made a lot of sense looking back at my elementary and high school years. This nugget reminded me of standardized testing in particular and how… well, inaccurate the system is.  They don’t measure real skill, only answers to multiple choice questions that don’t teach students much other than facts. Students many times don’t make the connection of how that information is applied. Moreover standardized tests don’t give students an opportunity to display their interests in more creative and hands-on subjects (music, fine arts, physical education to name a few).

testing comic1


(Also this Humans of New York portrait does an excellent job getting this point across)

While we can understand this information, what can we do with it? I’ve heard so many cases of the education system needing reformations, and who’s to blame, but I believe everyone is a bit at fault. No use in pointing fingers though, eh?

To address the main point of my nugget; tests also discourage the way students should be thinking about their education. We find it a chore instead of being eager to learn what we are interested in and would like to do later on in life (and even exploring possibilities of future careers).  In having to learn a sets of information we try taking the easy way out: we procrastinate, cheat, and only process and memorize the information enough for the tests.


Treegirl used the same quote I used and similar ones to focus on the grading scale of American school systems and how the numbers and letters force students to believe in learning only the “necessary” facts instead of branching out to explore their creative side as well (long sentence there, sorry).
Another point I never thought of through this article is presented by FrisketMcBisket, that being that condescension (being talked down to, belittled) is a huge turn off for students to take in the information they’re being taught. Not understanding computers could be taken by anyone as a “you can’t possibly understand what I’m telling you”, and what agitates us even more is the fact the computer isn’t a living thing we can reason with. You have to learn the way the computer wants you to.
Anisa brings to the table of using technology to teach ourselves since our current schooling systems seem to make students lose interest in the subjects they’re learning.  I think that’s a plausible solution if students have the initiative to take education upon themselves (I feel most of us are too lazy to come up with our own learning strategy and throw ourselves at the curriculum of our teachers).