June 22, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Lindsay Lohan supersedes news about genocide, men assess their “worth” by their paychecks, women’s bodies are treated as commodities and our educational system preoccupies itself not with stimulating children’s curiosity but rather getting them to efficiently regurgitate information on standardized tests."

Wanna know where I got that quote?

From the Politics of Harry Potter Wikipedia article. I'm re-reading the series.

It's actually a very good quote. Standardized tests suck, and my beloved alma mater seems to be rushing towards more of them... but in the form of AP classes, which complicates things. On the one hand, my AP classes offered me much more chance to think critically, learn how to write essays, discuss, etc. than normal classes. On the other hand, my AP classes were still full of scantrons and memorizing things for the test - in one class, our teacher didn't even bother going through the things on the state-required tests, just gave them all to us in one day, because the scores didn't matter, we just had to take them. And of course, when students take AP classes, they spend all year learning that the whole point is to pass the test, so that they can get out of a college class. Learning the stuff because it's interesting doesn't matter as much as passing and getting out of something, which is kind of sad, and I'm afraid that expanding AP classes just for the sake of AP classes will mean even more focus on those damn tests.

...Did I have a point?

I'm not sure.

But I'm not going to that school anymore, so I don't care~! Hopefully I get to do more creative thinking and not-regurgitating-information in college!

Also, Harry Potter is awesome.

That is all.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that the quote came from something related to Harry Potter. I guess I was lucky in that I had amazing teachers for my AP classes. I am convinced that there is no better Macroeconomics teacher than Mr. Cranston(also the German teacher). He has a way of engraving concepts in your mind without raising his voice or getting angry.

Timotiis said...

This is, I think, partially a feature (flaw? a something, anyway) of the US system. My final exams, the last one of which I just took, were entirely written papers, no Scantrons in sight.

Indeed, in physics(!) additional marks were awarded on each paper for Quality of Written Communication. While the politics exams were essay questions, requiring (naturally) essay answers. Still more modular and bitty than the exams used to be, but I think I much prefer it to a multiple choice thing.