What Do Y'all Think Of Standardized Testing? - Page 2

What Do Y'all Think Of Standardized Testing?

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This is a discussion on What Do Y'all Think Of Standardized Testing? within the Education & Career Talk forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; Standardised testing is good. The way I see it is this: school's purpose is to prepare people for the future, ...

  1. #11

    Standardised testing is good.

    The way I see it is this: school's purpose is to prepare people for the future, both in terms of earning a living and being good, law-abiding citizens.

    Now, how does a person earn a living? Through work. Work can come in multiple forms: one can become an employer (including entrepreneurship and self-employment like freelancing or investing) or an employee (performing a job for an employer). In these capacities, passing a certain test would signal to the employer, that that particular person has a number of skills/information. The standardised certification is a reliable guarantee for this. So it assures a potential employer of the skills, while at the same time it provides the potential employee proof of his claims that he/she knows how to do a number of things. Now, assuming that a person doesn't want to be part of this system with employers/employees. Say this person wants to be an artist. The standardised testing can provides a personal guarantee as well, that he/she has mastered the basics of his/her trade and he/she has no blind spots in his/her learning (as self-taught people can often have).

    How does a person become a good, law-abiding citizen? This is harder to do, since it supposes that the student adopts a number of behaviours which would enable him/her to function normally in society. But at a minimum, he/she learns the way a society/economy/political system works and the standardised test can ensure that all students have these basic skills/this information.

    Standardised testing also provides an objective, non-discriminatory measurement of whether or not a person meets certain minimum standards of knowledge and competence.

    Now, is standardised testing done correctly? Most of the time: no. I think standard tests should cover the general basics, not higher more specialised aspects. Also, grading can be a problem. I think, as a general rule, standardised testing should have pass/fail grading system or at least fewer grades. Even if you have more grades, their importance is limited and the weight assigned to them should be lowered to prevent teachers from teaching the test only.

  2. #12

    I never thought deeply about the testing process as a whole, but I honestly never minded taking them because I always scored highly on them.

  3. #13

    Bullcrap. It gives no meaningful data.

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  5. #14

    The essential problem with old school iq tests is that they are used more to pass judgement on people then to help them develop.
    Bunniculla thanked this post.

  6. #15

    Standardized tests create standardized people. My reading comprehension was off the scale when I was 13. My math skills were barely grade level at the same time. I read a lot. I didn't solve complex equations much.
    SoulScream thanked this post.

  7. #16

    IQ tests in my opinion are an extremely flawed way of measuring intelligence, because most IQ tests we see are based around a very specific set of skills that not everyone is adept at / needs to be adept at. I don't care if I'm not a Mensa member or anything like that, I believe I'm intelligent enough because I try to stay true to myself and search for my own happiness, though parts of me can still be very rigid, even conventional about things I believe in. It's all that matters to me.

  8. #17

    An excerpt from something I was working on a while ago (TL;DR - standardization sucks):

    To make the system work, education is increasingly standardized. In a standardized system, education is mainly seen as a means to an end - it has the goal to transmit those skills, facts, and standards of moral and social conduct to the next generation that are considered necessary for the next generation’s material and social success (Dewey, 1938). Skills and knowledge are provided to prepare workers for vocational roles, to become a productive member of society supporting an ever-expanding industrial development. According to the specialization theory developed by Adam Smith in 1776, using a hypothetical pin factory, he showed how the division of labor and specialization lead to an increase in productivity. This is an idea that can be readily seen in the structure of the current education system. However, Smith's pin factory is also used as an example of how the specialization and rigors of specialized factory life produce disastrous effects upon the workers' intellects and psyches. To put this into perspective – the education system as we know it now was established in the 1850s – more than 70 years after Smith’s writing.

    The current standards are born in a bureaucratic fashion based on a miscommunication having its roots in the fundamentally different worldviews of politicians, educators, and researchers (Van Geert & Steenbeck, 2014). Policy makers work with what are usually outdated research average statistics while teachers have to figure out how to implement that on a personal level in their classes.

    Standardization in education is pervasive – we have standardized cohorts, programs, subject curriculum, tests, and my personal favorite - standardized self-reflection assignments. Most of this is done in the name of objectivity and equality while making the whole process simpler to execute. The results of this, however, are not the intended ones, but what Gatto describes as the seven lessons of the hidden curriculum of industrialized education (2017), some of which are presented below:

    Inflexibility/Confusion/Meaninglessness. Predetermined, content-based curricula are supposed to prepare individuals for their future careers by providing them with all the necessary knowledge and skills they need to excel. These curricula, however, do not take into account the ever-changing increasingly complex social and ecological environment. This type of environment requires flexibility to be successfully navigated which is something that cannot be achieved by a curriculum that is focused on teaching us what to think instead of how to think, producing “educated fools”. Furthermore, quality of education entails depth of learning. Currently, more factual knowledge is equated with creating more functional human beings. As previously mentioned, the quantity of information is not above the level of what any individual can effectively process and use, and is often times presented in an incoherent and disconnected way preventing understanding and integration of the material. Human beings innately strive to create meaning from the information they are presented with, and this way of presenting information is detrimental to the creation of meaning.

    Indifference and conformity. We teach children not to care too much about anything through the use of bells. When the bell rings, the child should drop what they do and move on to the next thing. This teaches them that nothing really is worth caring about. Instead of equality, the system produces conformity due to the simple and inherently biased fact that the system favors the people who can conform to it, while slowly filtering away anyone who does not. Conscientiousness, staying inside the box, and following the rules without questioning are rewarded, while creativity, deviant thinking, and curiosity are punished.

    Emotional and intellectual dependency. The top-down approach makes students emotionally and intellectually dependent on authority figures. Students are taught that only authority figures can provide them with the correct answer leading them to rely on facts and statements given by others while diminishing the trust in their own thoughts. This idea is echoed in the works of Freire (1972, 1973) for whom this is one of the fundamental problems in education. Furthermore, students are made emotionally dependent on the rewards that are granted and the feedback given by the authority figures. However, this feedback is mostly given through a grade on a standardized test and anything that falls out of the scope of the tests, such as personal characteristics, is not taken into account leading to an evaluation independent of the students’ personality from which individuals still draw important conclusions about themselves and their possible future.

    In conclusion, it could be said that public education has the primary goal to achieve cultural uniformity, not diversity, and to educate dutiful, not critical citizens introducing artificial perpetuation of an unhealthy status quo in the social order.

  9. #18

    This question seems way too broad. IQ tests, placement tests, vocational tests, etc. have different designs, purposes, administration, and other qualities. I don't think anything in particular of standardized tests (I did always like the challenge of taking them, however); the devil is in the details.
    Quote Originally Posted by Crowbo View Post
    Like the title says, I'm wondering what you peeps think of this concept. Imo, I think it's a shitty idea because you can't evaluate a students entire level of education and career potential with one test.
    What is this one test that is designed to evaluate students' entire level of education and career potential? Is there any such test?

  10. #19

    It's evil and makes students and teachers miserable. I know old ladies who quit teaching because of No Child Left Behind. Oh yeah. I used to want to be a teacher. I used to teach Sunday school in my youth and did volunteer work with underprivileged children in LA and originally majored in environmental science because I thought I wanted to teach science. I have experience teaching on a part time and volunteer basis. Standardized tests are garbage and in many States public schools are garbage aside from teaching children to read (I learned how to read at home tbh).

    I'm not going Betsy de Vos on you but as someone who has a science degree, some schools in Arkansas aren't teaching real science any more than the local Baptist church is. California has some of the most stringent science standards in public school and math standards at state colleges, yet on standard tests we fall as middle state because of economic uneven distribution and also because of standardized tests, schools in California are more likely to embrace a Montessori model or hands on experience learning which translates poorly on standardized tests.

    In middle school I skipped a grade in math because I test so well but ultimately it was very very bad for me psychologically and after 7th grade didn't do especially well in math until having a Soviet Russian math professor in college who saw math as poetry.

    Also listening more and more to Native Americans I see how flawed mainstream US thinking is in teaching children to actually respect each other and the earth and make good life decisions. It's all very complex but standardized tests are bad.

  11. #20

    Well how else do you weed out all the eligible sheep to add to the flock

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