Standardized testing as an assault on humanism and critical thinking in education

The Right Kind of Universal Pre-K Updated by Grace Chen For years there has been a push to universalize preschool in this country in order to provide all children with the leg up they will need in order to compete in a globalized economy. While approximately three-fourths of four year olds in America are involved in some kind of educational program, the United States still ranks only 25th out of the 34 most wealthy and upcoming nations in the world in terms of early childhood education, lagging behind the likes of Portugal and Mexico. Just a decade ago, only 65 percent of four-year-olds were enrolled in preschool; today that number is 78 percent. It is a subject that has become politicized as well, with President Obama championing the cause a number of times during his presidency, most notably in his State of the Union Address.

Standardized testing as an assault on humanism and critical thinking in education

Definition Critical thinking is the ability to reflect on and so improve your thoughts, beliefs, and expectations. Curiosity is endless — the better you understand a given topic, the more you realize how much more there is to learn!

But a humble person always recognizes the limitations and gaps in their knowledge. This makes them more receptive to information, better listeners and learners.

At the same time, skepticism has to be inwardly focused as well! But rationality also allows you to identify good arguments when you see them, and then to move beyond them and understand their further implications.

Sooner or later you have to come up with your own ideas, your own solutions, and your own visions. That requires a creative and independent mind, but one that is also capable of listening and learning.

Real critical thinking means you constantly engage with other people, listen to what they have to say, and try to imagine how they see the world.

Examples Example 1 Although video games are sometimes simply a passive way to enjoy yourself, they sometimes rely on critical thinking skills. This is particularly true of puzzle games and role playing games RPGs that present your character with puzzles at critical moments.

In order to save the innocent man, you have to talk to people throughout the town and, using a combination of empathy and skepticism, figure out what really happened.

Example 2 In one episode of South Park, Cartman becomes obsessed with conspiracy theories and sings a song about needing to think for himself and find out the truth. The show is poking fun at conspiracy theorists, who often think that they are exercising critical thinking when in fact they are simply exercising too much skepticism towards common sense and popular beliefs, and not enough skepticism towards new, unnecessarily complicated explanations.

Standardized testing as an assault on humanism and critical thinking in education

Traditional Thinking Critical thinking, in the history of modern Western thought, is strongly associated with the Enlightenment, the period when European and American philosophers decided to approach the world with a rational eye, rejecting blind faith and questioning traditional authority.

It was this moment in history that gave us modern medicine, democracyand the early forms of industrial technology. At the same time, the Enlightenment also came with many downsides, particularly the fact that it was so hostile to tradition. This hostility is understandable given the state of Europe at the time — ripped apart by bloody conflict between different religions, and oppressed by traditional monarchs who rooted their power in that of the Church.

Enlightenment thinkers understandably rejected traditional thinking, holding it responsible for all this violence and injustice. But still, the Enlightenment sometimes went too far in the opposite direction. After all, rejecting tradition just for the sake of rejecting it is not really any better than accepting tradition just for the sake of accepting it!

Traditions provide valuable resources for critical thinking, and without them it would be impossible. So critical thinking absolutely depends on traditions. Through curiosity and probable skepticism, he not only worked out the basic rules for matter and energy in the universe — he also realized that the force causing objects to fall was the same as the force causing celestial objects to orbit around each other thus discovering the modern theory of gravity.

Standardized testing as an assault on humanism and critical thinking in education

He was deeply indebted to the whole tradition of scientists that had come before him — Europeans, Greeks, Arabs, Indians, and all the rest. Obviously those two modes of thought are in some tension.

He points out that skepticism is extremely important to critical thinking, but at the same time it can go too far and become an obstacle.

Weaving the Threads of Common Topics and Themes

Critical thinkers need to be both open to new ideas and skeptical of them; similarly, they need to have a balanced attitude toward old and traditional ideas as well. The History and Importance of Critical Thinking Critical thinking has emerged as a cultural value in various times and places, from the Islamic scholars of medieval Central Asia to the secular philosophers of 18th-century America or the scientists and engineers of 21st-century Japan.

In each case, critical thinking has taken a slightly different form, sometimes emphasizing skepticism above the other dimensions as occurred in the European Enlightenmentsometimes emphasizing other dimensions such as creativity or rationality. Today, many leaders in science, education, and business worry that we are seeing a decline in critical thinking.

Standardized tests and measuring critical thinking abilities | Mentoring Minds

Some politicians view critical and creative education as a waste of time, believing that education should only focus on job skills and nothing else — an attitude which clearly overlooks the fact that critical thinking is an important job skill for everyone from auto mechanics to cognitive scientists.

Which of the following is NOT one of the dimensions of critical thinking discussed in the article?Education around the world has turned increasingly toward standardized testing and the mechanical memorization of facts, an approach that doesn’t leave time for critical thinking or creative arts.

autonomy, equitable allocation of resources, lack of standardized tests, more inclusive learning communities, (Darling-Hammond, ) or of critical thinking within a mindless testing legacy left by previous one- A Critical Humanist Curriculum. Mentoring Minds is a national K publisher with a mission to put critical thinking at the center of the classroom.

Their research-based resources are designed to be flexible for classroom needs, supporting technology integration and standards mastery for Math, ELA, and Science. Standardized Test's effect on Critical Thinking and Creativity Chomsky, Noam and Robichaud, Arianne. “Standardized Testing as an Assault on Humanism and Critical Thinking in Education.”.

Deeper Learning: Moving Students Beyond Memorization - NEA Today

Five semi-structured interviews were conducted to investigate teacher perspectives regarding the use of standardized tests, specifically TIMSS. Four out of five interviewees felt preparing their students for TIMSS in was a challenging experience, due to mismatch with their curricula.

The most alarming finding was that students who showed some of the biggest improvements on standardized tests showed much less significant gains in terms of the ability to analyze material, think logically, and solve problems—the hallmarks of critical thinking. Those fluid thinking skills, which are very similar if not identical to critical thinking skills, are what employers and universities are looking for in the 21st century.
Six Ways ESSA Will Improve Assessments - NEA Today These include a reduction in time spent on testing, the ability for teachers to use their own judgment and expertise to determine what skills their students need to focus on, and an increase in cultural relevancy on the required assessments for students in urban Title I schools like hers no more questions for city kids about sail boats or babbling brooks! But when will all of these changes take place?

Issues with standardized tests. Many people have very strong views about the role of standardized tests in education. Some believe they provide an unbiased way to determine an individual’s cognitive skills as well as the quality of a school or district.

Many educational psychologists and testing experts have nuanced views and make.

Critical Thinking: Examples and Definition | Philosophy Terms