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08 October 2004: Will This be on the Test? (2 of 3)

Recently, a teacher was discussing reading with a group of students. She was very excited to show them the types of literature they would be studying over the course of the year. One student interrupted her with a question that sent her reeling: simultaneously evoking shock, discouragement, and anger. The question? “Will this be on the RICA?”

The Reading Instruction Competence Assessment is one of the newest ways for credentialing commissions to determine the teaching skills of their applicants. It’s easy and convenient, as neither actual students nor actual teaching is necessary to determine one’s skill in teaching literacy. But I’m not here to tout the current trend (is that too weak?), no, stampede towards standardized tests in all levels of education. This one singular example of a teacher preparation student questioning the usefulness of her critical literacy class speaks volumes—not about teaching so much as learning.

teaching quote of the day

Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.

- Chinese proverb

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