Chapter 5 of Whatever It Takes highlights the different theories of schooling held by Geoffrey Canada and some of his administrators. For Canada, it is important for the Harlem Children's Zone to assume a business model in order to achieve success. Among other things, he had a mantra of "more, more, more" when it came to test prep.
An alternative approach by Terri Grey, the principal of the middle school, was about "raising achievement over the long term by gradually molding students into learners." It seems difficult to main both approaches simultaneously. And so Grey's and Canada's schooling philosophies seem to expose important differences headed toward a conflict.
What do you think? Which approach or paradigm do you believe is more beneficial, Canada’s or Grey’s? Why?
Or, for our local college concerns, beyond GPAs, what other ways can we effectively measure learning outcomes here at SIUE?
By just jamming test prep down the throats of the children they would handicap them in the real world. Therefore I believe that Grey's method of making the children better learners would be more effective for their long term goals.
At SIUE and in college period in general a better learner will excel further than a person with only good test taking abilities. College is designed for you to learn the skills you need for your future careers and the application of those skills to real world scenarios.
Test performance is not nearly as important as learning. The approach of schooling being solely for good test scores is fundamentally unsound. Testing is to ensure that a given student has been able to comprehend and learn what was necessary for them to learn.
Generally, then, I would feel that Mrs. Grey's approach to schooling seems more successful and beneficial -- If a student loves to learn, then test scores are not important -- they will either score well on test or they will turn out to be a poor test-taker and not score well. Being a poor test-taker does not mean that someone is academically unsuccessful, though - if they learn the subject they are far more successful as students than those who get good grades and learn nothing.
Since I am an education major, I feel strongly about teaching to the test. Education should not be centered around testing, because after all what do test scores mean? Achievement over time is the most important aspect of education! Children need to experience learning and be able to achieve without constantly being worried about testing. Tests are not the only way to measure academic achievement. I think it is a shame that the U.S. educational system is based on scores, when students can prove their intelligence in other ways.
I think that Canada is being very thoughtful in wanting to make these children as successful as possible, but I would have to agree more with Grey's approach for being more beneficial. A gradual learning process is more likely to ensure that the student's are understanding what is being taught to them at a steady pace, one that will allow their brain's to retain and be able to use/apply information to real life. I know that if information were to be shoved in my direction consistently in a "more, more, more" fashion, like Canada suggests, I would be extremely overwhelmed and discouraged to learn. In order for me to learn, I need information broken down and gradually molded to fit into my brain in such a way that I retain it for long-term.
Being a special education major I agree more with Grey's approach of molding students into better learners because that can happen in many various ways.I'm not really a big fan of standardized testing because passing a test is just a technique, it doesn't quite mean you understood the material. Learning on the other hand takes time and creativity, but t benefits the student and that something that will be in their long-term memory. Molding students into learners is a life-long skill that they can always use throughout their life.It's okay to master how to pass a test and do well on tests but we usually forget the information after the test. Learning something like tying your shoe is something you will never forget and you can teach others.
I think Terri Grey’s approach is more practical than Geoffrey Canada’s approach. Change on its own is hard enough. As humans we are set in our ways and resist change.
I think Terri Grey’s approach will be more beneficial because it’s more encouraging of the students. I feel like the students would have more confidence and faith in the gradual/long-term approach because it’s reasonable. I don’t think Canada’s approach will be as beneficial because it seems like too much too fast.
This change in education is going to be a big deal to those students considering the education they used to receive. I feel like the students might find Canada’s approach to be too demanding and overwhelming for them to handle.
I agree that the education system should care more about students becoming learners rather than test scores. I believe Canada had an excellent dream, but I feel he was overwhelming the student (and the teachers) by wanting “more, more, more.” I believe Grey’s method is better, the children need to learn not cram – ‘slow and steady wins the race.’
My experience here at SIUE focuses heavily on test/quiz taking. As a Biomed major, we are preparing ourselves for a certain professional school – which also requires a standardized test prior to entrance. In college, so many students cram and that material because ineffective after the semester is over.
Teaching simply for "the big test" is unreal. However, you see it all across the board. It's not just in your primary or secondary schools, it's right here in your college. As an education major, out of all of the material and hands on experience students receive in relation to becoming an educator...If they simply "don't past the content test or other state required testing, they will not be able to move foward in their field of study. Does it mean, they are not prepared for the real world?....Absolutely NOT. As someone stated earlier, some of your smartest learners are not great test takers while some of the best test takers have little to no reality with "real world" situations.
I totally agree with Mrs. Greys approach. Giving student's the tools and instruments that will prep them for the real world and hold educators accountable for what is being taught.
I do not believe the two approaches conflict with each other. They are both slightly different approaches that both work towards the same goal. Each will help with the education of a child. Giving a child the ability to learn is especially important at younger ages. This approach will prepare the child for further education and the work place.
As the students grow older focusing more on testing will help them prepare for college entrance exams and later testing in life. The only problem with this approach is that it only focuses on a very specific aspect of education. If standardized testing was improved to where results truly represented a persons level of education instead of a persons ability to take a test Canada's approach would be much more sensible.
I agree with grey's point or method because teaching children to be learners is more beneficial. If they just did test then it difficult to figure out if a person is truely learning. Some people don't well on test so, we have to figure out difference ways. We can't just shove test down children throats.have to find a better method.
I think that a way to effectively measure outcomes here at SIUE is to look at overall achievement in the community. I think that a way to see how well a student is doing by the way that they interact with people through community service.
I think that if students are evaluated in how effective they are in the community and how they interact as citizens. This way SIUE is not jus building great thinkers but great citizens and people as a whole.
School is all about learning the material and learning to succeed after youve learned that material. Focusing on trying to make the kids good testers would deminish the effect that succeeding through learning would have on them. Grey has the better method of trying to make the kids better learners. Memorizing so that your a good test taker will only get you as far as the test. LEARNING will get you throuhg life.
I don't like the method of test prep, it doesn't not encourage children to love learning, or to continue tothirst for knowledge over the course of their lifetimes. With test prep, students can't personalize their experience. I feel that by Grey's method, a student can personalize the experience and become learners in the own way.
Learning how to pass a test is not true achievement, in my book. It seems like a bandage that only serves as coverup and doesn't fix the real problem, while educating students to become learners is like the immune system that fights the infection and mend the skin.
I have to agree with Robin Test Preps is not how the real world works. Jobs don't give you test preps while working, you work better by learning, reading, and using resources.
At SIUE just getting good grades is not everything. The way the economy is now, you can graduate and still not have a job. Using your skills in the class room and staying involved is how I look at success in college. Getting involved is another way that can help you learn in the real world rather than just testing.
Excellent test takers may know the information but rarely do they know how it is applied to real life scenarios. They learn to memorize and regurgitate information but never know the value of what they're memorizing. To fully understand the material taught and grow through using that information in the real world is what makes adults excel in the future.
iChristian Bias said...The most important aspect of this situation is developing students to be better learners so they can acquire real-world knowledge. Test scores are not the most important aspect and I am proof of this theory. I had two pretty low test ACT scores, but that didn't say what type of student I would be because I get good grades from determination, not prep test. There are way too many gifted and intellegent students to base an education system on prep test scores.
I agree more with Grey’s approach. I believe this is more reasonable because students have to learn how to become learners. They have to learn how to study, what to study, and so on.
I believe that SIUE is doing the right thing of testing students. GPA and finals are good ways to determine where students are at in their academic development.
(My post didn't appear on here. I emailed Jessica and she told me to resubmit it.)
Training on how to learn is an essential skill in not only school but in life. I believe that Grey's principle is a more practical method of molding children into successful educated adults that have the ability to contribute to society. One of the downfalls of many students in education is their lack of recognizing the correct method that leads to the desired outcome. Most times, it has nothing to do with intelligence or memory skills; it deals more with quickly recognizing the necessary steps that need to be taken to reach the goal. Learning how to learn, especially at this early stage in life, will lead to success in every stage of the children's lives as they mature into adults.
Its very important to for us to be able as adults to know how to study for test and in the real world we wont always be given study guys or test preps like in high school. In the real world we have to Learn our own ways to comprehend material. Just because someone is good at taking a test doesn't mean they are a great learner. They can just be good at knowing how to take test based on study guides. Were in college to help us learn different skills to help us in the real world.
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