In the video series, ‘I Am Education,’ a fifth-grader opens up about the pressure he feels from high-stakes exams.
Erin Mallory's insight:
We can sit and preach that standardized testing is stressful and unhelpful to children but it is so much more powerful when it is coming from someone doing it at the moment. That's why I scooped this video. This video is important because it helps show the tremendous stress that students of a very young age are put under. In my opinion, too much weight is put on the tests. However, if we need to do the tests and have all the weight on them, don't let the students know how much weight is put on them.
Keep the children in the dark about why they are taking the test. Don't stress them out and I believe they'll do better. Many times the boy in the video shares that he "hopes he got the answer right" or "hopes that he did well" or knows "its a big test". If he didn't know that it was a big test, maybe he wouldn't put all the pressure on himself and just maybe he woud perform better.
-My teacher was telling me about how they make goals at the beginning of the year about how many children will move up reading levels and into higher percentiles. Although these are just goals before the children are even met, the teachers are expected to meet them or else it reflects badly on them and the school. This puts pressure on the teachers to "teach the test" and make sure the children do well enough on the items tested and not necessarily on skills needed.
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