IAE Blog

Information Age Education (IAE) is an Oregon not-for-profit corporation founded by David Moursund in August 2007. The IAE Blog was started in August 2010.

Student Assessment in the Science and Non-science of Science and Non-science Courses

My previous IAE Blog entry briefly discussed “Teaching science and technology in the context of societal and personal issues." See http://www.i-a-e.org/iae-blog/teaching-science-and-technology-in-the-context-of-societal-and-personal-issues.html?blogger=Dave+Moursund.

This discussion was based on a November, 2010, position paper from the National Association of Science Teachers. The NSTA position paper helps to clarify the educational challenge discussed in an earlier article:

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Helping Tutors to Become Better Tutors

Many schools provide tutoring services to their students. Tutoring might be done by regular teachers, special education teachers, tutors hired on an hourly basis, parents, and students.

In some sense, such tutoring services are almost like having a school within a school. The tutors have widely varying knowledge and skills both in their discipline content areas and in their knowledge and skill in tutoring. The tutoring itself can have widely varying goals. It is common, for example, to provide a modest amount of tutoring to help prepare a “borderline” student to take a required state test. A few extra points scored on such a test can move a student up to the “pass” level.

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Test Anxiety and Use of Non-test Methods to Measure Learning

All students and teachers know something about test anxiety. Under the pressure of an exam, some students are unable to demonstrate some of the knowledge and skills that they have learned.

Recently a student in the Mathematics Department at the University of Manitoba, Canada, earned a doctorate in math without passing the comprehensive exam. Here is a quote from The Chronicle of Higher Education (11/29/2010):

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Creating Academic Standards that May Be Inappropriate and Unattainable

My IAE Blog entry of September 13, 2010, is Setting Unreasonable Standards in Student Assessment. This posting can be considered to be a continuation of that discussion. It is based on a free 16-page report:

ACT (December, 2010). A first look at the common core and college and career readiness. ACT Research and Policy Issues. Retrieved 12/7/201 from http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/reports/firstlook.html.

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Thomas Friedman’s Thoughts about Our Educational System

Thomas Friedman is one of my favorite writers and commentators. In his November 20, 2010, OP-Ed column for The New York Times he wrote:

President Obama got this one exactly right when he said that whoever “out-educates us today is going to out-compete us tomorrow.” The bad news is that for years now we’ve been getting out-educated. The good news is that cities, states and the federal government are all fighting back. But have no illusions. We’re in a hole.

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