This-essay is a7911211.htm which is available at the web-site www.essayz.com. See more notes at the bottom. Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay By-Months By-Years By-Words Webs of Like-&-Un-Like ESSAYS <==> Like-&-UN-Like This-One ========================================================== %POLITICS OF TESTING 791121 Academic testing implicitly sets priorities for students to follow in their use of their study time. The directions which are given to students by testing tend to be ambiguous. Rarely does the student get clear signals regarding just how to most productively spend study time. The rules of the "game" are rarely stated explicitly in advance. The job of the student is to guess what will be on the test and to try to be ready to respond to whatever happens to be on the test. Thus the student is instructed/taught to become a good guesser of what the professor regards as important for purposes of testing. The good guessers tend to get good grades, and the poor guessers get poor grades. The grades then do not measure how much the student has learned, how curious the student is, how well students formulate questions, how well the student can expose faulty reasoning, etc. The politics of testing flow from the inadequacies of the instructors' efforts to define the purposes of the instructional efforts, and the purposes of the students' efforts. Also at issue is the purpose of testing and certification. If there is no clarity regarding the nature of and purpose of the student-teacher relationship, there is not likely to be clarity regarding the purpose of the testing relationship. This leaves the student in an ambiguous situation. Ambiguity is a means to generate fear. The powerful person may use ambiguity as a means for paralyzing the enemy by the use of ambiguity. To let the enemy know just what to expect --- is to give the enemy an opportunity to plan clearly and to get psychologically oriented to the expected situation. We rarely fear the fully known danger as much as we fear the danger of unknown nature. Thus the teacher who is in an adversary relationship with students can use the ambiguity of the testing situation as a way of keeping his position of advantage over the students. To clarify the testing situation would be to surrender to the students an advantage which is traditionally one which belongs to the teacher. Those teachers and professors who advocate the surrender of that advantage are not likely to enjoy peer support. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in www.essayz.com Search for Integrity and Honesty (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================Lines beginning with a percent sign are KEYWORDS for use in ESSAY-System Searches. Their terminal digits are dates of writing in the format @yymmdd#, where @ = a means 99, @ = b means 20, and # = is a within-date essay-count. Links to date-adjacent essays are near page top & bottom.
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