Effective education goes beyond multiple-choice

Re: “Schools must understand new world,” column, Jan. 5.

Geoff Johnson is spot on. In the mid-1990s, the school board where I was employed as a principal required all schools to develop a vision statement for their use of new technologies. How prescient of my staff to come up with the following statement:

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“In a democratic and technologically driven society, learners are faced with ever-increasing amounts of information about which they must make moral and informed decisions. At our school, there will be an emphasis on developing autonomous, self-motivated learners who can independently utilize many forms of learning resources (including technologies) so that they have the skills and strategies to succeed in an ever-changing society. Learners need to become critical thinkers and problem-solvers, able to deal with multiple perspectives in a variety of situations.”

That was 20 years ago. What has happened that instead we’re getting fake news and post-truth?

Perhaps because schools are publicly rated and judged according to standardized test score results. Shame on us for buying into the notion that effective education is about the results of multiple-choice tests that measure memorization and rote learning, and reflect the socioeconomic standing of parents.

Engaging students in higher-order thinking is not easy work, but essential to a well-informed citizenry.

Let’s start supporting our teachers by understanding they are capable of and should be accountable for so much more than standardized test scores.

Janice Davis

Oak Bay

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