Thursday, April 7, 2011
All the authors of the this week's reading raised valid points on education: education should prepare us for life, should be independent and democratic, and enable students to demonstrate what they learn as well the What You Test Is What You get principle. Reflecting back, all of my schooling contained elements of a "great" education. However, none of my schooling--from elementary to high school struck a balance between each elements on the list. My middle school emphasized on rote learning and life skills, but felt short on creating a group environment. My high school was the opposite--it was very Socratic and presentation based that our teachers neglect importance of standards and tests. Furthermore, lack of resources in the classroom and the fact that our school was nomadic were perennial problems. Not to say that schools should or should not prepare us for standardized tests. I just think that there should be a balance of combining a pedagogy that not only prepare us for life, but also ensure that the knowledge we receive can be applied to society--ie. having a broad base of knowledge for conversations and higher learning. In this case, I believe standardized tests serve the purpose of getting our foot deeper in the door of society. Standards such as the SAT is important for college admission. In my high school, most of the teachers had a negative disposition about teaching students for standards. While I admired this attitude, I thought to myself, how many students won't get into the college of their dreams because teachers don't prepare them enough for standardized tests? I argue that in an effective, empowering, and adaptive pedagogy, a balance must be attained.