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14 March 2005: Pop Quiz (4 of 5)

Amazingly enough, it wouldn't take much to change these questions from empty fact recall to assessment of analytical skills. For example, what if #4 was changed to "In the 1960 election, why did the Republicans show the most strength in the west?" Or #2 could say, "In the 1960 election, what were the factors contributing to Mississippi not casting electoral votes for either the Republican or the Democratic candidate?"

I imagine this approach would not only be more effective in assessing whether students are meeting the state content standards, but it would provide much more interesting content for teachers and learners.

And let's talk for a minute about interesting content. Would you rather spend a half hour memorizing election statistics from the mid-twentieth century United States, or looking at population and economic growth maps, then determine the connections between them and use that information to predict election outcomes?

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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