Image credit: http://technologyembedded.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/john-dewey.jpg
So why did I take them? The answer to this lies in society's over reliance on attempts to quickly and efficiently quantify learning. This is not learning, but forced conformity into a system that focuses more on numbers than actual skills that can help one succeed in life. This comment from Lain Lancaster on the Google+ thread sums things up nicely:
"I'm baffled by your country's rush to standardization all across education systems (tests, common core etc.) when research has pretty much proven it's the opposite of what education should be. (I'm in Canada) Not only that, but thanks to modern technologies, society in general is moving away from mass production/consumption to individualized production/consumption. Yes standardization is easier, and produces lots of pretty data, but there's scant evidence that it’s effective anywhere in realm of education."So we continue to press forward in a direction that virtually everyone knows is wrong and misguided. Why do companies like Google go out of their way to provide their employees with spaces where they can play and relax? Play has been stripped away from students so there can be more time to prepare for the tests. The best learning experiences I ever had were experiential in nature. They involved play, creativity, failure now and again, tinkering, collaboration, and meaningful feedback. If life is all about preparing for and then excelling on standardized tests will that allow society to push forward and solve the plethora of pressing issues that our world faces today? The bottom line is that life is not a standardized test and results on these will rarely determine how successful our students will be in life. We all would be better served if school focused more on preparing students adequately to excel in the real-word instead of wasting time forcing them to take test after test that they see know value in. If true learning is what matters than we should model that in education.
So what are you thoughts?