Assessments :)

October 18, 2012 in Uncategorized by Alex

In an idealistic world, we wouldn’t be the only ones feeling bad about a failing grade; your teacher would be right there with you asking what he or she did wrong.  Unfortunately, we live in a pretty selfish, unfair world where a fair percentage of teachers strive more for job security than improving their teaching techniques.  With that being said, you might ask yourself, why do even need exams or quizzes?  In theory, these formal types of assessments are meant to be a proactive approach by your teachers to make sure you understand what is being taught.  If properly aligned with format and information, assessments are an accurate measurement, easily used to report progress to parents, staff and educational districts. In addition this, it keeps students on their toes because it is a form of encouragement for those who are doing well.  Unfortunately, we all strive for a grade.  Even more now as a college student, I am experiencing stress over memorizing things verbatim rather than actually understanding them.  And it makes me extremely upset to see a bad grade when I know I studied as much as I could. I think a large disconnection has occurred between teachers and students. I don’t know who we have to blame, the systems itself, the standards, over-crowding classes in urban settings, etc. The list goes on. We could blame everyone, we could blame no one.  The important issue remains that students continue to lose interest in science:  one of our most important fields.  After all, we need engineers and scientists to continue their research to improve our living conditions.  I think that if teachers remembered every now and then what it felt like to be a student, things would be improved greatly.

Assessments :)


  1. Why is it……even with these assessments seemingly not aligning with information presented……are there still students that succeed? Alexis is clearly right in saying that “my brain works differently than yours!” Despite those that lose interest in science, there are still many that progress and are clearly able to do what the teacher asks on quizzes and exams. But is it fair that students who are not able to do the same, get left behind and stuck in this endless circle caused by this “disconnection between teachers and students”? Some would say yes and others would say absolutely not. And yes Alex…….”we could blame everyone”…..but MAYBE the parents are the most influential people in a student’s life and can do the most good and or harm when it comes to helping them shape their future.

  2. I believe it has to do with the fact that we have been taught to simply comply with what we are supposed to do. The students who do well, even when assessments aren’t properly aligned, have been taught that in order to be “successful” you should do well in exams. Yes people work differently, but I still believe that genuine interest and effort will get you further than pure genius and no work ethic. Parents do play a crucial role in any student’s life but I don’t think it is the most influential. I would say that self-interest and role modeling stand on the same plane of importance. If parent’s are the most influential factor how do you explain, well-rounded, successful individuals who have lacked a parental figures in their lives?

  3. Yes I think that there are those that seem like they are well rounded, but are they truly? If school has become a system of memorizing and spitting out facts for the various assessments thr thrown at students, and students aren’t understanding the material, is what they are perceived as reality? Yes grades are important but to some degree I think it is up to the student to comprehend material, with or without their teacher’s help; I don’t think the blame can fall entirely on the teacher or parent.

  4. Great ideas and questions here ladies. Jasmin, kudos for bringing in Alexis’s previous post into this conversation as well. I think we all need to take a step back and remember that learning is a social process. One cannot learn by oneself. Take reading a book for example, someone wrote the book, right? So learning from reading a book is still a social process. With this in mind, everyone is to “blame” for a students’ success and/or failure in school. I agree with all of you that the parents and teachers influence students, but I strongly agree that students have to have self-motivation to learn to be successful. A genius who doesn’t want to learn is just a genius who doesn’t want to learn — she/he isn’t going to make a different in the world by not sharing their knowledge and expanding their knowledge– they have to want to learn to grow more.

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Assessments :)

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