Standardized tests

SLF notmyaddress at hotmail.com
Fri Jul 7 14:44:21 EST 2000


>
> I have a hard time with standardized tests to begin with. Students get so
> attuned to answering multiple guess questions that they land in our upper
> level classes and flounder on essay exams. Requiring the basic skills
> tests in the lower grades, I fear, is going to exacerbate the problem down
> the road.
>
> Cindy
>
> --
> C.J. Fuller
> <mailto:cjfuller at erickson.uncg.edu>
> <mailto:cjfuller at mindspring.com>

There is a huge problem in our current "teach to the test" mentality.  Add to
it the attitude that students are consumers, rather than students, and you find
they don't have an interest in intellectual accomplishment or learning, just
in grades.  I hve PhD students come by asking me to regrade problem sets
just on the chance they might get a better grade.   That they haven't earned it,
or haven't mastered the material, they don't view as an impediment.

What's scary is the number of  students who have the attitude
that learning something not directly relevant to their benchwork is
irrelevant.  i fear that in many cases we are turning out highly skilled
hands but limited minds, who lack the creative breadth to be real scientists.
perhaps this is the sorry triumph of the careerist over the intellectual.

A broader question is whither education? Does paying fees entitle one to
buy a degree?  does admission to a program  guarentee the degree
(student as consumer) and should it ? What is the student's
responsibility and what the faculty's?

--
-susan
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Molecular Biology and Virology Lab
The Salk Institute, La Jolla CA
forsburg at salk.edu
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