All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

What the TAKS Test Can Teach Us About Our Students
Unformatted Document Text:  maintained in our republic, so the importance of this knowledge cannot be exaggerated. Perhaps my open ended questions were a bit too narrow, but they demonstrate that students do not in fact know information that TAKS questions indicate that they know. The open ended questions do tell us the students know something about the contents of the First Amendment, in addition to the Miranda Warnings and the unalienable rights. Perhaps that is because each of these subjects has a mnemonic quality to them and are repeated in different contexts, often in the media. If we want to develop methods for teaching the other aspects of the Constitution effectively, perhaps this is an avenue we may wish to pursue, turn them into mnemonic phrases. But as it stands, the unfortunate answer to the question posed by this study—what does the TAKS test tell us about our students?—is that it overestimates their knowledge of government and politics. It tells us that they more than they in fact know. Observations Regrettably, these results are not newsworthy since we already know that high schools are graduating many unprepared students. Nevertheless the results offer some clarity. It is imperative to know more than, simply, that students do not know a lot about government and politics. We need to know what they know, what they do not, and how to address their deficiencies. If we do not intent to give up the hope of educating citizens, we need to determine how best to reorient ourselves in order to get the job done. With that in mind, there are significant lessons to be learned from my exercise. 1 - From the open ended definitions questions I learned that we cannot assume that students enter the classroom with the ability to engage in basic discussions about government and politics. It is imperative to determine what vocabulary students are familiar with and where their deficiencies lie. This means that we may wish to hold back our demand that students engage in critical or analytical thinking. Though that is worthy goal, it may be more effective if we ensure that students have the background knowledge necessary to effectively engage in critical thinking. Many of the problems I have encountered with students who seemed unable to learn in the classroom are likely due to my overestimating their level of preparedness as they enter the classroom. Though I’m not quite prepare to use rote memorization and drills to ensure 14

Authors: Jefferies, Kevin.
first   previous   Page 14 of 29   next   last



background image
maintained in our republic, so the importance of this knowledge cannot be exaggerated. Perhaps
my open ended questions were a bit too narrow, but they demonstrate that students do not in fact
know information that TAKS questions indicate that they know.
The open ended questions do tell us the students know something about the contents of
the First Amendment, in addition to the Miranda Warnings and the unalienable rights. Perhaps
that is because each of these subjects has a mnemonic quality to them and are repeated in
different contexts, often in the media. If we want to develop methods for teaching the other
aspects of the Constitution effectively, perhaps this is an avenue we may wish to pursue, turn
them into mnemonic phrases. But as it stands, the unfortunate answer to the question posed by
this study—what does the TAKS test tell us about our students?—is that it overestimates their
knowledge of government and politics. It tells us that they more than they in fact know.
Observations
Regrettably, these results are not newsworthy since we already know that high schools
are graduating many unprepared students. Nevertheless the results offer some clarity. It is
imperative to know more than, simply, that students do not know a lot about government and
politics. We need to know what they know, what they do not, and how to address their
deficiencies. If we do not intent to give up the hope of educating citizens, we need to determine
how best to reorient ourselves in order to get the job done. With that in mind, there are
significant lessons to be learned from my exercise.
1 - From the open ended definitions questions I learned that we cannot assume that
students enter the classroom with the ability to engage in basic discussions about government
and politics. It is imperative to determine what vocabulary students are familiar with and where
their deficiencies lie. This means that we may wish to hold back our demand that students
engage in critical or analytical thinking. Though that is worthy goal, it may be more effective if
we ensure that students have the background knowledge necessary to effectively engage in
critical thinking. Many of the problems I have encountered with students who seemed unable to
learn in the classroom are likely due to my overestimating their level of preparedness as they
enter the classroom. Though I’m not quite prepare to use rote memorization and drills to ensure
14


Convention
All Academic Convention is the premier solution for your association's abstract management solutions needs.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 14 of 29   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.