Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Teaching to the Test

Since standards became conspicuous (I believe we always had standards; we just were not as consciously aware of them as we pretend to be today.), I have heard many teachers complain that they are being forced to teach to the test. Those who advocate a focus on standards often provide the caveat that they are not advocating teaching to the test. The Department of Education in Indiana goes to great lengths to make it known that teachers are not to be teaching to the test. But teaching to the test is exactly what a good teacher does at all times.

Consider the process of designing a lesson. First, a good teacher determines what it is that students are expected to learn. Then, the teacher determines how students will show that they have met the expectations. Only then does the teacher decide the activities, strategies, and methods used to meet the expectations. In other words, after deciding what will be on the test and the type of assessment that students will complete, the teacher then teaches to the test.

Teaching to the test is what a good teacher does.

1 comment:

  1. That is fine when the test is a quality assessment tool in the first place. When the test is a standardized tool passed down from on high that is neithe relevant or at the appropriate level for the student, then teaching to THAT test is a shame. Unfortunatley, it's unavoidable in today's climate, but it is not necessarily good education.