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New Reasons to Dislike Multiple-Choice Testing

New Reasons to Dislike Multiple-Choice Testing
The multiple-choice problem is becoming a bit of an issue. While it has been derided by educators for decades as incapable of truly measuring understanding, and while performance on such exams can be noticeably improved simply by learning a few tricks, the multiple choice question may have a larger, less obvious flaw that disrupts the tone of learning itself. This is a tone that is becoming increasingly important in the 21st century as access to information increases, as the updating of information happens more naturally, and as blended and mobile learning environments become more common. Tone Learning depends on a rather eccentric mix of procedural and declarative knowledge -- on the process as much as the end product. Students are often as confused by teacher instructions or activity workflow as they are by the content itself. The process of mastering mathematics, for example, is served as much by a consistent process of practice as it is the practice itself. Uncertainty Beyond Either/Or

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Towards a Rationale of Audio-Text Bauman 1975 Bauman, R. "Verbal Art as Performance." In American Anthropologist, New Series, 77, no. 2 (June 1975): 290-311. Homework or Not? That is the (Research) Question. Woe unto the administrator who ventures forth into the homework wars. Scale it back, and parents will be at your door complaining about a lack of academic rigor. Dial it up, and you’ll get an earful from other parents about interference with after-school activities and family time. If you’re looking to bolster your particular position with research results, you’re in luck, because there are studies that back the more-is-better approach and others that support the less-is-better tack.

Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell Reflect on Guided Reading Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell Reflect on Guided Reading In this article in The Reading Teacher, balanced-literacy gurus Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell celebrate the extraordinary spread of guided reading – and offer suggestions on how it can be optimally effective. Here are some of the key elements of guided reading that educators around the world have embraced: And here are the basic elements of the canonical guided reading lesson:

How to Destroy Education While Making a Trillion Dollars The Vietnam War produced more than its share of iconic idiocies. Perhaps the most revelatory was the psychotic assertion of an army major explaining the U.S. bombing of the provincial hamlet of Ben Tre: “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.” If only such self-extinguishing claims for intelligence were confined to military war. The U.S is ratcheting up a societal-level war on public education. At issue is whether we are going to make it better — build it into something estimable, a social asset that undergirds a noble and prosperous society — or whether we’re going to tear it down so that private investors can get their hands on the almost $1 trillion we spend on it every year.

Critical thinking Critical thinking is described by Richard Paul as a movement in two waves (1994).[1] The "first wave" of critical thinking is often referred to as a 'critical analysis' that is clear, rational thinking involving critique. Its details vary amongst those who define it. According to Barry K. Beyer (1995), critical thinking means making clear, reasoned judgments. Why Confusion Can Be a Good Thing Teaching Strategies Getty We all know that confusion doesn’t feel good. Because it seems like an obstacle to learning, we try to arrange educational experiences and training sessions so that learners will encounter as little confusion as possible. But as is so often the case when it comes to learning, our intuitions here are exactly wrong. Scientists have been building a body of evidence over the past few years demonstrating that confusion can lead us to learn more efficiently, more deeply, more lastingly—as long as it’s properly managed.

Fantastic and far-out formative assesment ideas When Suzie Boss skyped in to chat with us for #plsm13 last month, I just knew that she would share with us some stunning but practical ideas for project-learning. If you’ve read Lee’s overview of the event, you’ll know that she didn’t disappoint. Two things that really stuck with me from her time with us, was the idea of ‘sticky learning’ (this is the learning that stays with students, that they can easily bring to mind, the real stuff, the deep learning) and also the challenge to be as creative with formative assessment strategies as we can. As you can tell from the title of this blog post, it’s the latter idea that I want to focus on. Formative assessment is such a wanky expression, cos really all it means is learning.

The real problem with multiple-choice tests Q) What is one responsibility that modern Presidents have NOT described in the Constitution? (From the 2010 NAEP exam) a) Commanding the armed forces b) Proposing an annual budget to Congress c) Appointing Supreme Court justices d) Granting pardons One of the biggest complaints about standardized tests is that the multiple-choice questions don’t measure deep thinking skills. Here’s a new look at the problems with multiple-choice questions, written by Terry Heick, curriculum director at TeachThought, an online platform that that explores innovation in education.

What is the Scientific Method'? Next: What is the difference Up: The scientific method Previous: The scientific method The scientific method is the best way yet discovered for winnowing the truth from lies and delusion. The simple version looks something like this: 1. What schools need: Vigor instead of rigor - The Answer Sheet This was written by Joanne Yatvin, a vet­eran public school educator, author and past president of the National Council of Teachers of English. She is now teaching part-time at Portland State University. A version of this was originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. By Joanne Yatvin The Best Videos Showing The Importance Of Asking Good Questions — Help Me Find More I’ve previously posted The Best Posts & Articles About Asking Good Questions and now I’m starting to compile videos of movie or TV scenes that demonstrat the importance of asking good questions. I’m hoping that readers will point me in the direction of others and I’ll add them. I’m starting off with just a few courtroom examination scenes, but I’d like to get a variety of situations. I’m sometimes using TubeChop to show the most useful segments from longer clips, and I don’t think they will show up in an RSS Readers. So, subscribers will have to click through to seem them. Here are my choices for The Best Videos Showing The Importance Of Asking Good Questions:

A warning to college profs from a high school teacher For more than a decade now we have heard that the high-stakes testing obsession in K-12 education that began with the enactment of No Child Left Behind 11 years ago has resulted in high school graduates who don’t think as analytically or as broadly as they should because so much emphasis has been placed on passing standardized tests. Here, an award-winning high school teacher who just retired, Kenneth Bernstein, warns college professors what they are up against. Bernstein, who lives near Washington, D.C. serves as a peer reviewer for educational journals and publishers, and he is nationally known as the blogger “teacherken.” His e-mail address is This appeared in Academe, the journal of the American Association of University Professors. By Kenneth Bernstein

Cognition and Instruction/Problem Solving, Critical Thinking and Argumentation We are constantly surrounded by ambiguities, falsehoods, challenges or situations in our daily lives that require our Critical Thinking, Problem Solving Skills, and Argumentation skills. While these three terms are often used interchangeably, they are notably different. Critical thinking enables us to actively engage with information that we are presented with through all of our senses, and to think deeply about such information.