Monday, May 16, 2011

Judging success

Success is judged by authentic indicators of thinking and motivation, not by multiple-choice tests.

-Alfie Kohn

While it's very true there's no one-way of judging success, that's not the same as saying there is no wrong way of judging success.

Mulitple choice exams are the definitive way to make invalid and unreliable inferences about learning. If the learner isn't even permitted to generate their own response, how authentic can the assessment really be?

Real learning is found less in student achievement (read: test scores) and more in students' achievements - real success is found in the students ability and desire to go on learning, to wrestle with new ideas, become intellectual explorers and develop into thoughtful questioners.

Real success is measured not just by how many kids can learn but at least as much by how many kids want to learn - we do ourselves no favours to raise a nation of children who can read, write and arithmetic but choose not to.

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