Individuality And Expertise:Not Through Testing!!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against testing per se but more often than not it isn’t justified.
I wouldn’t want to be treated by a brain surgeon who hadn’t passed his brain surgeon tests or fly with an airline pilot who didn’t have a licence. Maybe it’s because I’m a coward but realising at 30,000 feet that the person flying the plane had only ever flown a remote control helicopter in his local community hall would be cause for concern, to say the least.
It is the testing of young children over and over again that makes my blood boil.
What right do we have as adults to put children through the stress of tests, exams and assessment when they serve no purpose for the child?
If it was for the benefit of the children, all well and good; but testing a six year old on phonics is pointless. Learning phonics but not testing phonics.
What is the point of children being tested?
There is no point is children being tested. Simple as that really.
Knowing that a test will be taken at a specified time puts tremendous pressure on teachers as they teach to the test. If children don’t score highly in the test, the teacher takes the fall and the child is given a special ‘label’.
Who benefits from testing?
The only people who benefit from testing young children are those in authority who have been set the task of finding out statistical information.
Children gain no benefits from tests.
What is the alternative? Do we need an alternative?
If testing children was found to be the best way to move their learning forward then so be it, But it’s not!
Testing does nothing to help children move to the next stage of learning and it proves nothing more than the ability to recall facts. I’ve mentioned this before; only good for quiz nights.
Formative assessment, the method of continuously assessing children through the learning process, is the best way to find out if steps are missing or help is needed to consolidate a concept.
Are maths, reading and writing the only skills needed to become successful adults?
I don’t think so.
Within each and every one of us there is an individuality and expertise that can’t surface through the present testing system.
I wonder how many people in the world have no idea how to read or write but possess the most amazing ability of predicting the weather, athletics, music, diamond cutting or maybe life saving inventions.
Does our fixation with tests and exams mean that some truly inspirational people are going to slip through the net and their gifts will never surface. Yes, I believe it does.
Parents and their role in a testing society.
How many parents out there have ever been disappointed with the results of their six year olds spelling test results?
I remember being appalled at the number of parents who would ‘punish’ children for not getting ten out of ten. It wouldn’t be so bad if spelling tests helped children to spell correctly in their writing but they don’t. Spelling test spellings are only good for spelling tests!
Franki was 6 years old and had some severe learning difficulties due to complications at birth. She was awkward in the classroom and couldn’t hold a pencil properly let alone write down spellings correctly. Every week this young child was put through the humiliation of zero out of ten.
Franki could balance. She could balance anything for as long as she liked. It was a sight to behold and Franki came alive knowing that she could do something that none of her classmates could do.
Franki went on to travel the world in a specialist acrobatic act and is living life to the full.
Oh if only she could get her spellings right!!!
What happens to the self esteem of those children who always ‘fail’ at tests?
Can you imagine how a child feels who can never ‘pass’ a test.
It is one of the saddest things to hear when a young child proclaims they are no good at anything. So much is put on testing that it appears to be the only way forward and this just isn’t true.
The world is becoming a sad place with few inspirational people coming to the forefront. This isn’t a case to develop more tests it’s a case of getting rid of the tests and finding that individuality and expertise within our world.
Maybe someone out there who has no idea what a computer does but could find a cure for cancer in the blink of an eye – who knows?
I feel very strongly about the testing of young children. In fact, I wonder about the testing of older children as well.
What about you? Do you have an opinion on testing children?