Oct 152012

Good post by +Steve Wheeler on how exams are a poor and overvalued way of assessing learning.

Exams are at best a test of memory and a snapshot of what students 'know' when the test is administered. The exam itself tells us nothing about how children will cope with the messy, complex problems they will face in real life, or how good they are for example, at working in a team. Exams tell us next to nothing about their creative abilities or their cognitive agility. Project work, continuous assessment and monitoring of progress are much more likely to be indicators of how well a child is doing in school.

One of the questions I discussed today with some of my third year teaching students was: what is the use of school exams? We discussed why we should put kids through the stress and anxiety of testing, when tests do little to help kids to learn meaningful things. Testing is essentially a snap shot of what the student knows when the test is administered. It’s a very effective method of scaring kids to death, and it’s also a very efficient method wi…

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