I have been doing a lot of thinking and a lot of supposing lately as I read different educational blogs. Many of the blogs I read are in regards to the affects of standardized tests, grading, and achievement in the classroom. So how do you get kids to achieve in the classroom? How do you get students to understand that it is not the mark they get, but the learning they take away from this course that is what matters? Why are teachers being forced to give standardized tests, that only take a snapshot of the whole year, not an actual measurement of the whole year? I for one never did well on multiple choice tests or true and false tests. It truly did become a guessing game for me when I had to take these tests, even if I felt I had learned the material. So I began to think of what a school would look like if I ran the school. So here is my Utopian School Story.
If I ran the school so many things would change, but so many things would stay the same.
My class sizes would be small, but always moving. I would essentially start my school as a Pre school to Grade one school. Then I would grow with my students.
There would be no marks in my school, students would not go home saying I got a xx% on this project, they would go home saying ' I learned _________ today in school, it was so cool because______________" .
Parents would come to understand that a mark was only a comparative number, it demonstrates what a child can do compared to his peers or the person that created the test.
I would have engaging learning using a variety of tools and resources. We would have field trips and guest speakers and we would have learning through play.
I would produce activities that engaged the children in learning, that go them thinking, and would make sure they were not concerned with their mark.
At points I understand that I may have to bow to the instructs of society and that a standardized test may have to be issued. But I know that my students won't be concerned with their mark they will just go in and do the best that they can. I also believe that if you don't put so much pressure on students (and teachers) that standardized tests might be more accurate results.
It's not perfect, but it's maybe something that should be looked at changes need to come into our education system, but I think they have to start from the bottom up and Universities have to stop being so concerned with percents if the rest of our education isn't going to be.