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11 October 2004: Will This be on the Test? (3 of 3)
Will This be on the Test? is a dangerous disease: more dangerous now than ever before, as it has now permeated all levels of education. How can we expect students to value meaningful learning if we have created conditions where teachers neither value it, nor understand how to teach it? What is there to say when we have pre-service teachers more concerned about passing their exams than learning effective teaching strategies? How will our students learn to think if we prevent their teachers from learning how to think? Now that we have found ourselves in a time and place that values only learning that can be measured with percentile rankings, how do we teach teachers and students alike to value critical thinking? Though I do not have an answer to these questions, they belie a frightening truth. I believe that this most undervalued skill of critical thinking is what will spark the much needed reform in our schools. Only through the concerted actions of critical thinkers--teachers, students, and parents--can we finally achieve an educational system that recognizes thinking as meaningful learning.