The Answer to Parallel Parking is C

I keep thinking what our streets would be like if we only allowed new drivers to demonstrate their learning through the written exam. Can you imagine the chaos? [Image- joiseyshowaa1] Personally, I’m glad that there’s a system that ensures people not only know the “right” answers, but can also demonstrate by DOING– in this case, by driving.

Of course, we wouldn’t allow that to happen to drivers. It’s not safe.

But we do it to kids in schools. Multiple-choice tests don’t tell much about what students know, other than the fact that they can memorize answers ( or in some cases, because they can read their teacher’s minds). Rarely do I encounter a multiple-choice assessment that allows a student to move beyond simple recall… maybe a few application skills here and there. What would our schools be like if we allowed kids to demonstrate their understanding or even mastery of a concept through other means? Better yet, what if kids were involved in the decision-making process about how to demonstrate their learning?

On another note, I wonder how many people would be denied a driver’s license had they been given only one opportunity to pass their driving tests– both written and driving. Has anyone ever said, “What? You failed your driving test? Sorry. You will always have a failing grade on this exam. No license for you–ever. Move along.” Seems like the streets would be fairly empty. (This second note is a point that Ken O’Connor discusses most eloquently in his presentations!)

Ever wonder why kids think school is just a game they have to play until they can move into the “real world?”

1joiseyshowaa. “World Class Traffic Jam.” joiseyshowaa’s Photostream. 9 Apr 2008. 25 Jul 2008. http://flickr.com/photos/joiseyshowaa/2402764792/

5 thoughts on “The Answer to Parallel Parking is C

  1. That is an outstanding analogy. Again, as I’ve come to expect, you are right on…I really don’t have much else to contribute…You’ve done it all!

  2. Thanks, Josh. My frustration is becoming overwhelming. I don’t intend to use my blog as a venting vehicle (no pun intended) all the time, but sometimes you just have to say or type what’s on your mind.

  3. Oh, and I should also mention that the “retaking” aspect of my comment above really stems from Ken O’Connor’s work. In fact, I’m going to go add that to my comment right now.

  4. Really enjoyed your blog and totally agree with you. Does anyone still give multiple choice tests… You first commenter said it all for me; you thoroughly covered your topic, and I loved the images and citations.

    Actually, I like your blog so much I am tempted to switch from blogspot to edublogs. I had heard that edublogs are harder to master, so I was wondering how hard the learning curve is (for someone who is a teacher, not an IT). Thanks for a great blog.

  5. Thanks, RJ! Unfortunately, I know several people who give ONLY multiple choice tests. No lie.

    And if I can plug edublogs… it’s a great place to be! :-)