How we can stop TEACHING TO THE TEST and start empowering learning (for a change)

Every Classroom Matters Episode 189

Uncommon Learning Eric Sheninger

I’m sick and tired of excuses. Everyone makes them but the biggest, most obnoxious dumbest excuse we’ve adopted is “we have to prepare kids for THE TEST.” Sure the test has become a reality. But with so many people seeing the schools KILL THE LOVE OF LEARNING so we can help kids memorize rote facts for a TEST — why isn’t more happening to CHANGE THINGS? Schools know we can do better but why do schools still do the same old things that didn’t work last time? Parents see it too! Two thirds of US parents agreeing that there’s too much emphasis on testing. It is time to shift.

Essential Questions: Uncommon Learning: Creating Schools that Work for Kids

  • What DOESN’T work in education?
  • How can we let go of control and still prepare kids for life?
  • How we should evaluate our schools?
  • What is it going to take to help schools focus on learning and not testing?
  • How do you help teachers who refuse to learn new things or are so burnt out and tired they don’t want to join informal learning?
When society looks back on us in a hundred years will we be seen as a people who did what is right even though it is hard? Or will we be seen as a people who make excuses to do the wrong thing because we’re tired? May it not be! Change is hard but it is for our kids. It is worth it! Keep them the center! Focus on learning! We can all level up learning! 

Educator Resources from this Episode

If something is important to us, we find a way.  If not, then we'll always find an excuse. Eric Sheninger

If something is important to us, we find a way. If not, then we’ll always find an excuse. Eric Sheninger

"Schools work better for adults than they work for kids.  We need to work harder to make schools work for kids." Eric Sheninger

“Schools work better for adults than they work for kids.
We need to work harder to make schools work for kids.” Eric Sheninger

When society looks back on us in 100 years...   Will we be seen as people who do what is right even though it is hard?   Or will we be seen as people who make excuses to do the wrong thing because we're tired?

When society looks back on us in 100 years…
Will we be seen as people who do what is right even though it is hard?
Or will we be seen as people who make excuses to do the wrong thing because we’re tired? Vicki Davis

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2 thoughts on “How we can stop TEACHING TO THE TEST and start empowering learning (for a change)

  1. Vicki! I love all that you publish and talk about – thank you!!! I’m going crazy because I need some input from someone else… Colleagues at my school are using a point system from ClassDojo to reward kids that “are working”. Points are displayed on the SMARTboard for everyone to see in the room. I cannot use this kind of old-fashioned management tool as I think it is in the past and has no relevance (as kids aren’t talked to about their behaviour and neither are the parents as all they get in the email is “how many points their kid has”). Do you know this website? What is your professional take on this?
    Thank you so much,
    M

    • Yes. It depends on how you use it. I have all kinds of concerns about showing this up on the board and the type of “behavior management” this represents. Full disclosure, I have written some blog posts for Class Dojo. If you look it up, you will see many who have concerns about using it in this way. But showing points on the board like this should never happen!! I don’t think it is healthy or good teaching!