Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A quote that made me wonder......

Hi everyone! I cut and pasted a chunk of my quote section below from my talking points. This section of the test focused on how education can hurt rather than help students if taught in the more "traditional" manner. I vent a bit about how we are still focused on standardized tests below.....grr!


“…education is experienced by students as something done to them, not something they do. They see it as alien and controlling….Mass education has become notorious for the low motivation of many students (and the burnout of many teachers). Large numbers of students are refusing to perform at high levels, demoralizing the teachers who work with them” (21).

* I found this passage confusing because if traditional ways of teaching are “bad”, then why are we STILL teaching to the test!? I couldn’t help but think of the NECAP testing when I read this quote. My department head focuses on reviewing so much for the test that I spent most of first quarter literally teaching to the test. The week of the test my school had drawings, prizes, and motivational announcements to almost “wake the slumbering effort” that is supposedly hidden within the students. We literally bribed them to do well after stuffing them full of traditional teaching-drills, constant repetition, crap. I was happy to see that our scores increased, however, really got to wondering after I read these "Shor-isms": What did they really learn? If given the NECAP tomorrow would they be able to reproduce the same results? Then I got to thinking how much discussion and connecting content on a personal level that we do daily and was saddened to realize just how much learning and “breakthrough moments” were lost because of this.


  1. Megan,

    I agree with you.... Our schools spend so much time on the review for these tests that we deprive the students of so much. I understand the English and Math teachers bear most of the burden.

    In Massachusetts we are given Frameworks, basically a list of subject matter we need to cover. We are told to get through it all before the end of the year. There is so much content. The students only get the basics and we deprive them of so much.

    During the month of March, 10th graders start MCAS testing. These tests determine their graduation eligibility. Therefore, all classes focus primarily on MCAS during March. I think the students would learn a lot more if they spent the time "connecting content on a personal level".

  2. I totally agree with what you say about the first quarter being all NECAP Prep! I think that the worst part of it is that we don't get to really "talk" to our students, which leads to a variety of issues for the rest of the year: The students don't get to know us as teachers, which often creates a wall, we as teachers don't get to know our students, which inhibits our ability to gear our second quarter curriculum to their interests and strengths-- to help build confidence. I feel it also sets a tone in my classroom that is just not me... it completely ignores the second classroom that Campano discussed in our last course (go Jill!) and I hate that! It takes all of second quarter to build back what I've lost at the beginning of the year. FRUSTRATING!!!