Directory:Article Purgatory/Is standardized testing contributing to the loss of student creativity?

MyWikiBiz, Author Your Legacy — Tuesday May 17, 2022
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Standardized testing is a tool used to measure the effectiveness of academic programs and students ability against an established standard of acceptable knowledge.[1] The results of these tests are used to direct program funding and are a major discriminating factor in admission decisions at academic institutions. Due to the pressure to succeed on testing, the classroom has geared its curriculum towards exam preparation and successful scores, which have placed limits on what students are permitted to explore. [2]

“Grades and high test scores may indeed give young people feelings of self-confidence and serve to motivate them. However, if those grades and test scores set up a pattern within the sudents of being motivated to learn for some reason that is external to the learning itself so that genuine learning seldom continues to reside completely in the students’ minds and curiosities, are they worth it?” [3]

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Although this ability to assess and compare a students “knowledge” or “capabilities” across the nation is an advantage in standardized testing, there appears to be a gap in the education system between the teacher (also known as [a.k.a.] ‘knower’) and the student (a.k.a. ‘learner’) resulting in a new generation of individuals lacking true understanding of what they have learned.

This teaching method is also creating an environment where students are not encouraged to develop their creative mind. Internationally-renowned expert in the field of creativity, [4] Sir Ken Robinson, addresses the lack of attention towards the development of a student’s individual experiences and creative potential. Robinson reminds us that the future is unknown and it is the responsibility of educators to encourage students’ natural talents and skills because they may have the solution to our future dilemmas that we are currently unaware of. [5] Neil Postman was a prominent American educator [6] who saw the importance of generating a creative atmosphere in hopes of instilling the desire to learn within students.

Postman felt creativity could be encouraged by having teacher’s cross-train between disciplines in an attempt to develop new ways of learning. [7] Cross training addresses individual strengths and provides a creative approach to learning. For example, students would benefit from having an art teacher demonstrate how art connects to science. This approach to connecting disciplines reinforces the value of all subjects and stimulates more creative thinking by its ability to demonstrate the subject from a different angle.

Standardized tests inability to understand a students personal life experiences inhibits its ability to accurately measure a person’s intelligence or aptitude for learning. Author, Lyn Lesch states, “Academic learning that does not emanate from the personal experience of the learner becomes an inevitably disembodied process… resulting in developing psyches that become dulled.” [8] Both Robinson and Postman recognize that the current education system needs to find new methods of teaching that instills the desire for students to learn and take an active interest in education so they develop into knowledgeable human beings about the world they live in with the possibility of achieving their full potential.

Notes and references

  1. ^ http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-standardized-tests.htm
  2. ^ Standardized Testing Issues. “Teachers’ Perspectives.” National Education Association of the United States. 1977. pg. 49-51.
  3. ^ Lesch, Lyn. Our Results-Driven Testing Culture. “How it Adversely Affects Students’ Personal Experience.” Lanham, Maryland: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc., 2007. pg.105.
  4. ^ Ken Robinson. Brittish Author. Wikipedia. 14 May 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Robinson_(British_author)
  5. ^ Robinson, Ken. “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” YouTube. 14 May 2009. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY
  6. ^ Neil Postman. Wikipedia. 14 May 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Postman
  7. ^ Postman, Neil. The End of Education. “Redefining the Value of School.” Knopf, New York, 1996.
  8. ^ Lesch, Lyn. Our Results-Driven Testing Culture. “How it Adversely Affects Students’ Personal Experience.” Lanham, Maryland: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc., 2007. pg. xi