The absence of formal evaluations:
Germination versus evaluation
Estimated time: 25'
The objectives of this nano-course are:
To promote a critical perspective towards traditional school testing.
To facilitate the understanding of both Vivadí's proposal for the evaluation as well as the pedagogical virtues that accompany it.
We suggest you re-visit these objectives when you complete the course!
Start from scratch
As human beings, we are very much inclined to try to create a world for us that is recognizable, predictable and safe. That is why we set up rites, customs and traditions that help us seek and produce the certainty that allows us to inhabit the earth without fear. The great risk of this human attribute a proclivity towards ossifying practices that need constant revision, criticism and transformation. Class testing and examination is one of those many practices that, over time, schools have reproduced with little - if not at all - thought and perspective. In the next Nano-Course, we will review Vivadí´s evaluation proposal that stands out from the traditional framework, putting the instrument at the service of children and not children at the service of the instrument.
1-Sit on a straight-backed chair or cross-legged on the floor.
2-Focus on an aspect of your breathing, such as the sensations of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.
3-Once you've narrowed your concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations, and ideas.
4-Embrace and consider each thought or sensation without judging it good or bad. If your mind starts to race, re-turn your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again.
In the next video, Pablo Doberti - Vivadí´s founder - shares his unique perspective on the vices and virtues of school testing.
Food for thought
The following article was published in the renowned site that addresses education issues, Teachthought.com. In it the specialist Sara Briggs synthesizes the main problems that frequently surrounds standardized testing of our students.
Wall of the wise words
"Prove yourself to yourself, not others." anonymous author
"Exams test your memory, life tests your learning; others will test your patience." - Fennel Hudson
"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." - Samuel Beckett
Call to action
Into the wild
The next time you find yourself facing an instance in which you have to evaluate your students, we invite you to ask yourself the following questions:
What is the objective of evaluating your students at this particular stage of the learning process?
How many of the objectives you could think of are specifically linked to the improvement of the learning process of your students?
How does your assessment instrument constitute a training device in itself, instead of a mere verification tool for the teacher?
To what extent the skills that you demand from your students during the testing have been addressed, worked and provided in your curriculum (writing, oral, synthesis, time management, etc.)?
In a nutshell
1st Concept - If the tests we use to measure student learning are themselves invalid, then the inferences we draw and the direction we derive from them are inherently misleading.
2nd Concept - Don’t count on students to stand out if they are constantly being trained to fit in.
3rd Concept - Students who ace tests internalize their performance as self-worth, and students who fail tests (and see others succeeding) internalize their performance as self-worthlessness. This trend can last throughout an entire educational career—or lack thereof.
4th Concept - Standardized tests teach students to follow guidelines more than they teach them to think outside the box.
5th Concept - As “real learning” takes a backseat to “test learning,” challenging curriculum is replaced by multiple choice materials, individualized student learning projects disappear, and in-depth exploration of subjects along with extracurricular activities are squeezed out of the curriculum.
6th Concept - To get hired at Google, Microsoft, BBC News, Peking University, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, St. Mary’s Hospital, the International Grocer’s Association, even the local burger joint—or to invent a new job in ten years— students need to spend more time using their skills than measuring them.