Testing in Educational Facilities
A puddle of saliva covers my book as I wake up to the buzzing of my alarm. Oh no! My head was heavy and waking up was not something I wanted to do, especially when I realized that I fell asleep while I was studying for my chemistry test. I had fifteen minutes to get ready for school. At that point showering was not going to be my priority. I had fifteen minutes to memorize as much information as I possibly could. But I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, in fact, merely impossible. So, I threw on my clothes, grabbed a piece of gum, and tossed my books into my bag. Today was not going to be a good day.
Since the day we are born we are watched. We are observed, then analyzed, and then soon tested. All of these things are simply done for our own good. They are there to make sure that we, as children, are off on the right start. But, at what age does it turn bad?
When testing gives us the wrong ideas about competitiveness, when testing is used to compare us to others, and when testing puts unnecessary pressures and stress on us, it is no longer good as a whole. Because of these reasons, and many more, testing in educational facilities is detrimental to the learning process.
On the opposing side, testing is not looked upon to be detrimental to the learning process. Some even consider it to be crucial to learning. Testing is often considered to be used simply as a measure of progress throughout the progression of learning. Some people view testing and grading as a motivation to allow students to strive to be the best and push to be better than those around them. Some people even believe that testing and grading is an important tool to prepare some students for the real world. So they must learn not to get ahead of others in the outside world when looking for jobs. If that is not taught and learned at the beginning stages of development, then the child may never develop a work ethic which pushed them to be their best, but rather, just satisfied with their minimal effort.
For some cases this may be true, but for my case, and many other students, testing was never considered to be a good influence. In fact, testing can even do the opposite of motivating. Sometimes the student who does poorly on one or two tests begins to believe that they are a failure and from that point on believe that there is no point in trying. This can cause the student to develop a poor work ethic and think that it is okay to receive bad grades and put in minimal effort. In this case, if the student had received an alternative assessment then, outcomes similar to these would have been prevented. According to Responsive Assessment, “learning is more than what can be measured.” (Henning-Stout, 21) So, if learning is the purpose of school, and testing isn’t a good means to measure what we have learned, then why use it? And example given in The Testing Trap is a case “when a child is having difficulty reading and we take...