Throughout my educational career my class was constantly being “tested” to set the standards for the following years. We were the guinea pigs for standardized testing. We were the bunch that set the bar for those following us. Trust me when I say we didn’t take these test all too seriously.
What did that do to our educational experience? Instead of learning our subjects and experimenting with hypothesis and theories, we were taught to memorize and regurgitate information as needed. The results, we have a system that is strapped to a lesson plan, forced to cover a certain amount of material and reach a certain percentage of passing students in order to attain some sort of reward.
When I help kids with their homework today, it seems they are learning certain subjects earlier then we did. It seems there is less creativity in projects and less imagination in the possibilities of an assignment. We are country that is raising and educating robots who will eventually apply for cog-like jobs and have no ambition to do anything more. They will have no pride or purpose in working hard and standing up for ones rights or self. This could mean numerous things for the country itself.
But for me personally, it means a lot more. I wouldn’t want my kids to be raised like robots, I wouldn’t want them to be left behind because the teacher had to cover a number of lessons to be in compliance with the school board. I wouldn’t want my child to have a passive teacher who just didn’t care and assigned busy work.
I would want my child(ren) to be curious, excited, and creative. I would want them to WANT to learn about things and the world, I would want them to feel excitement upon discovering how things work and what it means in the grand scheme of things. I would want them to think outside of the box and be creative. Color the sun blue and the grass yellow. I would want them to go to art classes to learn basic drawing and painting, as well as music classes to learn the history and how to read notes upon seeing them. I would want them to enjoy being active and participate in sports — have the experiences of being on a team and working with their peers to accomplish a common goal.
I don’t want them to know what the latest fashion is and what name brand they should be wearing, I don’t want them to learn how to get by and cheat the system, I don’t want them to learn what “DTF” is because they are inside watching TV all day. Or believe they need to the newest iPhone b/c it has the best games.
The consequences of our current educational system is a lot greater than we will ever know. Yes there are private schools and ‘traditional’ schools – but education should be accessible to all children no matter where they live and how much their parents make.
I have found that I am less likely to take a risk if I don’t know what the immediate outcome will be. I’m less likely to try to learn something on my own (in the workplace) if I’m not sure I will understand it our not. I work better with “direct’ orders and clear steps and goals. This can be a good thing in some areas of my life but I find myself wishing I had more confidence in trying something outside of the box, for having more faith in myself and my knowledge. To have less fear of failing and losing and looking at situations as a time to learn and educate myself.
The Generation of Standardized Testing has a lot to learn.
Obviously this isn’t the case for everyone, but this is what I’ve found.