Reading Reflection #1: Norm-Referenced vs. Criterion Referenced

Ch 1 pg. 26 #5: Do you think the movement to discourage the use of the terms intelligence and aptitude is appropriate? Why?

From the educational circles that I have been a part of in the past, I have seen intelligence become a word that is associated with a gift that has been given to some and not others. I have also seen this word be mostly associated with the idea of being “book smart” and is usually a quality that is seen in students who naturally excel in academic settings. With that said, I see that the gifted students who are regarded as intelligent are usually students who have excellent memories to retain information and are able to understand and comprehend information easily. Students who do not have these gifts, but are talented in other ways can easily feel “stupid or dumb” because they have issues keeping up with traditional education. I believe that students should be reminded that there are different types of intelligence such as social intelligence or creative intelligence. I do not think that aptitude is also the correct word to use because as the book said, the term tends to create an idea that there could be a glass ceiling in regards to a student’s potential. Students who do not feel that they fit into the typical stereotype of intelligent often feel that they also do not fit well into school, and I think that is a lie that should be cast out of educational systems.

Ch 2 pg. 58. #1: It was argued in the chapter that most classroom assessment tasks call for criterion-referenced approaches to measurement. Do you agree? Why or why not?

I agree that most classroom assessment tasks call for criterion-referenced approaches to measurement because it focuses on if the students completed the main focus of the test. I think that the text makes an important point by saying that these assessments are not “tests” of student progress but instead they are “interpretations”. A criterion-referenced assessment will usually be a better approach in the classroom because teachers can easily utilize information about their student’s knowledge base. I feel that it is more helpful for school administrators to see the outcome of Norm-Referenced measurement because they need to focus on meeting the established requirements.

#2: Why should/shouldn’t classroom teachers simply teach toward the content standards isolated by national groups? If teachers don’t, are they unpatriotic?

I believe that teachers should challenge their students to rise above the norm.  If we tell students that the only standards that they need to meet are inside their own personal bubble, then we are placing a limit on the amount that the students can grow. Students need to realize that they live in a world that is much bigger than themselves. We are not only teaching students important knowledge that they will use for the rest of their lives, but we are also shepherding them to learn how to be a part of this world that they live in. Educators would be improperly setting up students to have a closed mindset if they were only teaching toward the content standards isolated by national groups. I believe that this is not unpatriotic, but instead a realistic viewpoint of the growing world we live in.

#3:  If you discovered that your state’s educational accountability tests (a) attempt to measure too many content standards, (b) are based on badly defined content standards, and (3) don’t supply teachers with the per-standard results, how do you think such shortcomings would influence your classroom assessments? How about classroom instruction?

These shortcomings would influence my classroom assessments because it would lower the expectations for my student’s potential. I think that students would feel overwhelmed by being measured up against too may content standards or badly defined standards. In this situation, they could easily just stop putting forth effort because they feel that the expectations are unrealistic. The text brought up an interesting point by saying that “high standards” seem to be a holy grail for educators to reach, rather than the focus being on instructional objectives. Americans like results. However, if the focus is so much on the results and not on the process that actually gets us to those results then classroom instruction will definitely be negatively affected.

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2 thoughts on “Reading Reflection #1: Norm-Referenced vs. Criterion Referenced

  1. I love that you brought up that there are different types of intelligence! It is critical for teachers to identify students’ strengths and give students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge using their unique gifts.

  2. Pingback: Assessments, Tests and Measurements! | Inspired Vision

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