Teaching to Test Not to Learn 


Evalyn Crittell, Staff

Socrates once said, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” Despite this, schools today are teaching their students to memorize information in order to regurgitate that info onto a test.

Schools in America are overly concerned about how their students perform…on tests. Standardized tests are used throughout the U.S. to assess how well students are doing with memorizing data. This makes schools focus more on getting students to excel when it comes to testing, but not when it comes to problem-solving.

Teachers are developing “test-taking” skills instead of what students require, which is life skills. Young generations have the capacity to tell you the order of the presidents, yet most don’t know how to change a tire on their own. They lack problem-solving skills, which are a necessity to be successful.

A better way of assessing students’ capabilities is project-based tests. There is less room for guesswork, such as just picking an answer on a multiple-choice test; therefore, results would be much more accurate. Projects also allow students to show creativity and individuality. Essays are also a good way to get students thinking. Essays don’t offer the same type of artful creativity, but there is still more thought behind it than just picking A, B, C or D.

Schools should offer classes that will benefit students making them more independent and develop things like character and morals. Every child should have access to an activity, whether that be physical or strictly mental, that forces them to use critical thinking skills. If students don’t, they will go into the world alone and severely underprepared for real-life experiences. Some tasks to promote brain activity are: strategy games, reading, puzzles, writing and debating. 

Americans should be terrified because lawmakers and other government officials currently in charge will no longer be, and this country will be run by kids who still don’t know what they are doing. They will be leading by guesses when they could be leading with logical decisions if they had been taught how to make difficult decisions. Presidents will be elected because people like what they are saying not for any real reason. A country should not be run on guesswork and people being controlled by their yearning for material things. If we continue to ignore the serious issue at hand and don’t help students learn how to cultivate their mind, we will be in trouble.

There are serious flaws in the American education system, and it is failing. Changes must be made for the United States to continue to be a successful country. Students must be taught the value of creativity, individuality and assiduousness. Parents, education board members and governors need to take a stand. America needs to take a stand against this broken United States education system.