A seventh grader can win the middle school spelling bee by spelling the word “metaphor”. He remembers it was a word recently appearing on a spelling test. A few of his peers in the audience give a sigh of expectancy that he will recall the correct spelling of the word, as, of course, they do.
He spells it “metiphor”, his peers let out a different kind of sigh, the opponent correctly spells it and the next word, and our seventh grader manages a humbling second place.
Will he always remember how to spell “metaphor” from then on? You better believe it!
Ever take a test and find out shortly afterward that one of your answers was wrong and then realize the correct answer? Chances are you will always remember that answer.
A test can serve as a teaching tool…..if results are close to immediate.
But even if results are delayed a few days, the test can still be meaningful and worthwhile to the test-taker.
There is an emotional attachment to directing one’s full devotion and attention towards taking a test. The subject matter remains an attractive challenge which evolves into even more involvement and preparation the next time.
This is the age of the computer. We can instantly transfer money at the bank online, purchase items from sellers thousands of miles away, know our credit scores and banking history, and even experience street level views of locations around the world!
But when our children take annual standardized school tests, ones which are scored by computer-assisted machines in most cases, they often do not receive the results for months, if at all.
Gone is the immediacy which could have made the test-taking a learning experience.
Gone is the recent nature of the event which could have given the students a feeling that their test results are relevant and important.
About this time someone asks, “Why don’t more kids take test-taking seriously?”
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