Solution to Problems Associated With Teaching to Capstone Project

Excerpt from Capstone Project :

Solution to Problems Associated With Teaching to Test Learning Approach

Teaching to the test which is an educational practice in which the curriculum is focused heavily on preparing the students for standardized testing has several weaknesses. In this section, we present a curriculum-based solution to these problems. It is therefore important that all teachers be aware of the dangers associated with teaching to the test while embracing constructive test preparation approaches that in the end promote an authentic student learning experience.

Mehrens and Kaminski (1989) noted that both the preservice classrooms as well as inservice workshop should eclearly outline the unethical test preparation approaches and activities for the practicing and aspiring teachers. The teachers should be given training in the context of curriculum -- teaching that requires them to effectively direct their instructions towards a very specific set of cognitive skills and content knowledge that is represented by a certain or given test as noted by Popham (2001). The teachers therefore need to clearly discuss the test-represented content as opposed to the test items themselves at all times when they are preparing their students to face the challenges of the tests. While armed with the appropriate content knowledge as well as instructional strategies, the teachers can effectively offer their students better skills and knowledge which would be better that giving them repetitive drills in the preparation for their standardized tests. The students can therefore manage to apply their newly acquired thinking skills as well as content knowledge in situations that extend beyond the confines of a given test parameters.

Stiggens (2000) on the other hand proposed the need for the school administrators receiving similar training for them to be effective leaders who can guide their students to the achievement of an authentic learning experience. The teachers however, are noted to be the ones who are better suited to tackle the challenges associated with standardized testing while also managing to positively convey this challenge to the students. The school administrators should be champions of effective curriculum-based solution to teaching to test problems. The administrators should therefore be able to clearly distinguish between the most appropriate and the counterproductive…

Sources Used in Document:


Jones, K. (2004). A balanced school accountability model: An alternative to high-stakes testing. Phi Delta Kappan, 85(8), 584-590.

Mehrens, W.A., & Kaminski, J. (1989). Methods for improving standardized test scores: Fruitful, fruitless, or fraudulent? Educational Measurement: Issues and Practices, 8(1), 14-22.

Popham, W.J. (2001). Teaching to the test. Educational Leadership, 58(6), 16-20.

Sampson, M.B., Rasinski, T.V., & Sampson, M. (2003). Total Literacy (3rd ed.). Canada: Wadsworth.

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