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Testing, Testing

February 7, 2018 — Leave a comment

Graham Brown-Martin from Learning {Re}imagined shares this 7 minute excerpt in which he asks Chomsky about his thoughts on the value of the way we currently use high stakes examinations to test our high school students.

Chomsky points to the fact that we have all studied for that exam which we have aced and then have forgotten about the content a few weeks later. He explains that exams do have some value but in terms of measuring content covered but there really do little to help learning. The following section near the end of the video really clarifies how important inquiry is to the learning process and how we should be inspiring students to discover on their own:

“Passing tests doesn’t begin to compare with searching and inquiring and into pursuing topics that engages and excite us. That’s far more significant than passing tests. In fact, if that’s the kind of educational career that you’re given the opportunity to pursue, you will remember what you’ve discovered. There’s a famous physicist, a world famous physicist right here at MIT who, like a lot of the senior faculty, was teaching freshmen courses, he once said that in his freshmen course, students will ask, “What are we going to cover this semester?” His standard answer was, “It doesn’t matter what we cover, it matters what you discover.”

That’s what teaching ought to be; inspiring students to discover on their own, to challenge if they don’t agree, to look for alternatives if they think there are better ones, to work through the great achievements of the past and try to master them on their own because they’re interested in them. If that’s the way a teaching is done, students will really gain from it and will, not really remember what they studied, but will be able to use it as a basis for growing, on their own. Again, education is really aimed to just helping students get to the point where they can learn on their own because that’s what you’re going to do for your life, not just to absorb materials given to you from the outside and repeat it.“

Source: Learning {Re}imagined