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OUT OF THE BOX

A THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: WHY GRADE? WHY TEST? WHAT IF?
By CATHY DAVIDSON

Let’s try a thought experiment. Let’s assume we live in a culture where all forms of educational achievement tests have been banned and no one is allowed to assign a letter or numerical grade for anything. How would we evaluate what students are learning? How would we decide which teachers were doing their job effectively or how they could be more effective? Would there be objective (i.e. impartial, unbiased) ways of determining who was the smartest student and who needed help? And why would we want or need to know that? Without testing, would being the best be a useful question? Or, as a mathematician would ask, would that question be an interesting one (one that could yield an answer that wasn’t simply a circular restating of the question)? How would the content and methods of education change if assessment by means of testing and grading was banned? Continue reading

February 10, 2010 Posted by | ARTICLES | , , | Leave a comment

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