Is Standardized Testing Forcing Us to Teach a Fact Base Education?

As a future history teacher in our education classes we are constantly being told that we need to teach more than facts in the classroom, but to engage are student into higher levels of critical thinking. But how can I do this when our state standardized tests are telling teachers thats how history should be taught.

In the articles we had to read for this week we had to look at Bloom’s taxonomy and Sam Wineburg and Jack Schneider revised version. In Bloom’s “pyramid”, which is what I was taught in my education courses, is that knowledge is the foundation to student learning. The foundation of knowledge that was built is supposed to help students reach higher levels of critical thinking. Wineburg and Schneider said that turning the pyramid upside would allow students to naturally engage critically with the material. While reading this article I saw the upside down pyramid as “Reagan Economics”, (if it worked haha). The foundation knowledge is important but the teacher and the assignments that are given are forcing the students to “trickle down” down the knowledge pyramid and allow the students to be more critically engaged with the material. With Bloom’s taxonomy it sets students in the mind set for what “basic fact” teaching and standardized testing wants, LIKE A STUDENTS OPINION DOES NOT MATTER, but “facts” that are seemed to be important.

In last weeks discussion we talked about common core and the pro and cons of the system, though I did see the positives of the system the class seemed to all agree but thought it could turn badly if teachers don’t implement the program correctly. I think that the common core system goes hand and hand with Wineburg and Schneider’s taxonomy. The common core standards force students to think like historians but most importantly engage with the material in higher-level thinking. It evens the education playing field. But for Wineburg and Schneider taxonomy and common core to work standardized testing needs to change! It can’t stay the same and expect students to critically think about historical topics.


2 thoughts on “Is Standardized Testing Forcing Us to Teach a Fact Base Education?

  1. I couldn’t agree more with your closing statement. It’s possible, I feel, that the Common Core could possibly work in a classroom setting. However, in order for this plan to work effectively standardize testing must, and I repeat, MUST conform to fit the way the Common Core is taught. I also liked the way that you compared the taxonomy to Reaganomics (clever).


  2. I think that you make some great points in your blog post. I really liked your example of how the Wineburg and Schneider pyramid was like Reaganomics if it worked. I too seen the pros and cons of the Common Core standards but i think that it comes down to how those standards are met by the teacher, and of course like most i agree that there needs to be a change in standardized testing so students can use critical thinking and begin to think like a historian.


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