Friday, March 8, 2013

Is a half year of learning equivalent to one question on a multiple choice test? | Gary Rubinstein's Blog

Is a half year of learning equivalent to one question on a multiple choice test? | Gary Rubinstein's Blog:


Is a half year of learning equivalent to one question on a multiple choice test?

I read an article yesterday about a new study which ‘proves’ how effective TFA teachers and TFA alumni teachers are.  The study, which can be accessed here, claimed that middle school math TFA corps members get an extra half year of learning than non-TFA novice teachers, that middle school reading TFA alumni get an extra half year of learning than non-TFA experienced teachers, and that middle school math TFA alumni get an extra full year of learning than do their non-TFA experienced teacher counterparts.
Anytime I see some educational program being measured in ‘months of learning’ I get nervous.  I just don’t think that learning is measured in months, and even if it were, I don’t think that a short multiple choice standardized test would be able to accurately measure it.
When I think of my own math teaching, my goal is to expose my students to as many ‘thought provoking’ questions each class as I can while still developing their skills.  Maybe on a good day, with the right subject matter, I can get four or five really good questions that get the students thinking deeply and analyzing what is 

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