Thursday, December 01, 2005

Take Five Week 8-2

With finals coming up, one thing I have been contemplating is the appropriateness of cummulative finals. Is it really logical in our modern world to make kids recollect information that in the real world can be found instantaneously? I mean, can't they eventually just go and look online to see who the other characters are in a particular novel and where the setting of the story was. I really think our job is much more important than that, that we should teach these kids how to become better thinkers, better question askers and seeks, and analyzers of information. Those are things that can't be found online.


Blogger Karl Fisch said...

The way I'm thinking about it (at least at the moment) is that a cumulative final is a necessity, but that we need to really think about the content of the final. That it needs to be a cumulative final on the essential learnings, not on the "bunch o' facts" that were covered in the class. If we identify the essential broad skills - not the individual facts of individual novels - and test them on that, that will be a valid assessment of how well they've learned the essentials of our class.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Cara S. said...

That sounds good to me. We just need to make sure that we (as teachers and ideally departments) have clearly defined essential learnings. The possibility of that happening is exciting! Kids will really feel like they have grasped a subject and intelligently presented what they have learned. I wonder how often kids really feel educated about a subject...that would be a great gift to give students as they leave our class.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Barbara S. said...

It isn't the facts, just the facts, anymore. If we are not asking our students to demonstrate their ability to synthesize, analyze, and demonstrate mastery of skills then we are not preparing them for THEIR future. OK, I will quit preaching to the choir!

1:18 PM  

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