ERIC Number: ED498977
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Apr
Teaching to the Test. Carnegie Perspectives
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
The writer comments on the issue of high-stakes testing and the pressures on teachers to "teach to the test." Although many view teaching to the test as an all or none issue, in practice it is actually a continuum. At one end, some teachers examine the achievement objectives as described in their curriculum and then design instructional activities around those objectives, without regard to a particular test. At the other end, students are simply drilled on the actual items that will appear on tests, a practice that destroys the ability to generalize to a larger domain of general knowledge. What Bond suggests is a merging of instruction and assessment, creating exercises as exemplars of a domain, so that honing one's ability to solve them represents generalizable learning and achievement. Tension between the instructional and assessment communities, as well the pejorative connotations that "teaching to the test" entails, the writer concludes, will continue so long as testing and assessment are seen as something quite apart from instruction and learning, rather than an integrated reflection of what was intentionally taught, and advocates for linkage of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and standards in a more generative and even transparent way.
Descriptors: Testing, Standardized Tests, High Stakes Tests, Academic Achievement, Test Items, Drills (Practice)
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. 51 Vista Lane, Stanford, CA 94305. Tel: 650-566-5102; Fax: 650-326-0278; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.carnegiefoundation.org
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Menlo Park, CA.