Standardized Testing= Standardized Teaching

Standardized tests are produced to increase the quality of education for students, though ironically standardized testing is contradicting everything we as teachers stand for.  How are standardized tests increasing educational studies when they are limiting the depth of knowledge for both students and teachers?  No matter how hard we try to enforce a standard level of knowledge throughout the world it cannot be met unless we standardize teaching.  Today teachers are trying to incorporate social justice in the curriculum to benefit all students and further reduce the ‘hidden curriculum’.  Using standardized testing erases any progress or any chance educators have in producing a just educational system.  As Kumisharo mentions we only have access to partial knowledge because it is impossible to gain complete knowledge.  Standardized testing sets limits to partial knowledge, which decreases partial knowledge furthermore in the classroom.  Each teacher brings their own perspective of teaching to the subject matter; therefore, each teacher evolves new information in each student.  Not one teacher will teach the same subject matter precisely the same as the teacher instructing in the neighbouring classroom.  Conforming to standardize testing restricts teachers to standard and traditional methods of teaching, most likely involving memorization rather than deep or critical thinking used for understanding.  The astounding thing about teachers is the fact that each teacher brings their own diverse methods or talents to the classroom to facilitate learning.  If we use standardized testing we subscribe to standardized teaching which diminishes the dynamic aspect teachers bring to education and the education system becomes a general conforming practice.  In fact, we would no longer need teachers anymore, we would just send out a booklet of knowledge students need to know, then line them up to test them, and pass them along to the next booklet.  This is not the path I want to see the Saskatchewan education system travel on and I believe that students learn best from experience.  A teacher is there because “students ‘know’ in different ways” (178).  If we truly believe in multicultural learning then as future educators we must support the numerous ways students can be assessed aside from standardized testing procedures.


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