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Why Are We Testing Students Before We Teach Them?

Written by Zoe Weil | Published on June 3, 2013 | Filed under Humane Connection
The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at http://humaneeducation.org/blog/2013/06/03/testing-students-teach-them/
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Student holding sign about testing

Image courtesy sarah-ji/Flickr via CC.

For my blog post today, I’m sharing a recent essay I wrote for Care2.com, an online community for people passionate about creating a better world. Here’s an excerpt from “Why Are We Testing Students Before We Teach Them?”:

… If students are stressed by the tests, if they are failing to finish them, if they find them too opaque and difficult, then they are being tested before they are being taught, a persistent problem with our test-crazy “reforms.” The choice isn’t between deep or shallow questions; it’s between preparation to answer meaningful and important questions or punitive tests administered prior to full teaching, which demoralizes students and defeats the very purpose of learning.

Read the complete essay.

~ Zoe

Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education
Author of Most Good, Least Harm; Above All, Be Kind; and The Power and Promise of Humane Education
My TEDxDirigo talk: “The World Becomes What You Teach
My TEDxYouth@CEHS “How to Be a Solutionary”


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