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View Diary: Education: Why data-driven instruction does not work (98 comments)

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  •  Dates Are Important For Context (2+ / 0-)
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    denise b, Liberal Thinking

    If you don't know, for example, whether the Civil Rights Act was in 1964 or 1944 - and broadly what else was going on in those two years - then you can't possibly have enough context to "get" the meaning and importance of the Civil Rights Act.    

    And looking up the date later if you think you need it is not the same as having enough context in your head NOW to evaluate what other people are saying about the topic under discussion.

    •  As a history teacher, I want my students to have a (6+ / 0-)

      sense of time/chronology instead of wasting time memorizing specific dates  It is more important that students learn causes, effects, significances, and impacts.

      Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

      by ranton on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 02:33:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is that from the standpoint of (1+ / 0-)
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      Liberal Thinking

      a multiple choice test, the student who puts the CRA in 1965 is just as wrong as the one who puts it in 1944. Knowing that the CRA was passed "in the mid-1960s" is enough context to understand its meaning and importance (obviously if the student were writing a paper about the CRA, they should be expected to get the year right, but that's a matter of doing thorough research).

      Writing in all lower-case letters should be a capital offense

      by ebohlman on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 07:13:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Point Is the Context (0+ / 0-)

      My objection is that they aren't testing what the person needs to know. Yes, it's important to know that the Civil Rights Act came in the 1960s and that it was about a hundred years after the American Civil War. That's because it gives a sense of how long a whole group of people had to wait for their rights to be (more or less) fully recognized. Just as an example. (Along with other things, some of which you pointed out.) But the exact date as 1964 or 1965 doesn't mean much.

      So, if you were going to be testing then you should be testing for that kind of knowledge. Perhaps you'd have to have orals or something. Maybe a written exposition. A multiple choice test, especially one that focuses on dates or names, is at best a crude substitute for testing the important information and understanding that should come out of education.

      Or, maybe you should have the teacher evaluate the student based on their participation in class, assignments turned in, and test results. Not only would that be more effective at evaluating the student, but it would also provide a feedback loop with the teacher, probably producing better results as the teacher became more experienced.

      Oh, but experienced, that would cost more. You might have to give them more money and, worse than that, more respect. They might have opinions. Wow, that would undermine the whole neolithic argument that public schools are bad and teachers worse.

      So, we get robotesting.

      I agree that having the date or at least a sense of the date is valuable. But I think the test should cut to the chase and find out about what the date represents. Did the student pick that up?

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