Sunday, January 22, 2017

Testing has elevated assessment above curriculum and pedagogy

Testing has elevated assessment above curriculum and pedagogy:

'Whether students take too many tests misses the point: testing has elevated assessment above pedagogy'

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The quantitative amount of testing is not the issue; the point is the effect of testing on education: over-testing has bent teaching out of shape, writes one leading educationist
Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s new chief inspector, says it is a myth that children in England are overtested, pointing to international comparative studies from Cambridge Assessment.
The same claim has been made by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Andreas Schleicher with reference to testing in the US.
In using the word "myth", both seek to rebut a "widely held but false idea".
However, the idea that we overtest our students cannot be rebutted simply by appeal to other children in other places, if they are being over-tested as well.
It may be that our students are no more tested than those in, say, the United States. But what help is that when the debate about testing is, if anything, even more heated there than in England?
Diane Ravitch has called standardised testing “the monster that ate American education”, and urges parents and states to boycott them.
Pasi Sahlberg is quite clear on the narrowing effects of standardised testing in the US. ED Hirsch – not exactly a cheerleader for progressive education – has shown how “invalid” tests have bent teaching and learning out of shape.
A better definition of "myth" is the more technical anthropological one of a "a traditional story, concerning the history of a people or explaining a natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events."
Through this prism, the quantitative amount of testing is not the point; the point is the effect of the testing on education, which depends on context and on how the tests are perceived.
In England, the prevalence of high-stakes testing linked to school status, teacher accountability and Testing has elevated assessment above curriculum and pedagogy:


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