“Given enough time, you might have figured them out—but in tests like these, there is a premium on answering as many questions as quickly as possible”
I know that feeling of not having enough time to figure out the problems that are assigned on a test. When I first took the SAT I ran out of time on the math portion of the test. I thought that I knew enough math to do very well on the test and score really high, but I just didn’t have enough time to finish. I feel that a lot of my students also have the same feeling when they take tests in my classroom. Honestly I don’t want to be testing root memorization, I want my students to have the ability to figure out the problems and not just memorize a strategy to solve the problems. I want my tests (math tests) to be more focused on problem-solving and using what students know and applying that knowledge to solve problems that may not have been seen before. I also feel that if a student doesn’t do good on a test they should be able to retake the test after they do some more preparation and retake the test to show me that they now know that material/content.
“This system is shaped by obsolete notions of academic rigor and by political and financial considerations”
The idea that a test is the end-all deciding factor for whether or not the students know the content that is being taught is outrageous. There is so much more that students should be learning inside the classroom to be successful outside of the classroom. I hope that my tests can help my students see the value of collaboration, problem-solving and asking good questions both inside and outside the classroom.
I want to start this chapter with a quote from the book, There is “no standards for what is effective teaching or leadership” is.
This idea that there is no way in which the teaching has a standard that everybody must reach, or at least strive to be is a theme of this chapter. Other professions have standards for the way in which the profession is practiced, however teaching is not one of those professions. I feel teaching is one of those professions where everyone looks at you with a microscope, and analyzes everything that you do. There are expectations, however most of these expectations are not stated and I feel clueless to what is expected from my teaching day to day. All of the classes that I’m taking all give me ideas on what is expected from me day to day, but it now that I’m pretty far along I feel completely overwhelmed with what I should be doing while I teach. I hope that I’m meeting the expectations of my cooperating teacher and am teaching the material up to his standards.
“The experiences of these top school systems suggests that three things matter:1) getting the right people to become teachers, 2) developing them into effective instructors, and 3) ensuring that the system is able to deliver the best possible instruction for every child.”
This idea was posed in the book at the end of chapter. The idea of not only finding the people who will be good educators and then developing them to become better is an excellent. I wonder if I am one of those right people? I know I still have a lot to improve but hopefully I can get there one day!
Wagner, T. (2008). The global achievement gap: Why even our best schools don't teach the new survival skills our children need--and what we can do about it. New York: Basic Books.