Teaching to the Test Done Right


The phrase teaching to the test makes most educators cringe. In a recent blog for Edutopia, Ben Johnson re-frames this idea. He challenges educators to use carefully crafted backwards planning and formative assessments to make the path to quality instructional goals clear and provide powerful feedback that deepens student knowledge and skills.

“Many of us would agree that teaching to the test has become an offensive phrase. I propose that teaching to the test may not be such a bad thing, as long as we are doing it in the right way and for the right reasons.”

“An apt reason to teach to the test is so that your students can be successful in demonstrating their knowledge and skills. I am referring to designing instruction that directly builds knowledge and skills found on an end-of-unit test, or assessment. That assessment may be a project, an essay, or a lab experiment — some way to evaluate if the students can apply the knowledge and skills they have learned. In Understanding by Design, Wiggins and McTighe say that before we design the instruction, we must create the assessment first.” Article continued…

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