One step forward, two steps back

October 16, 2008 Comments Off on One step forward, two steps back

Everytime I get to thinking I’ve got a handle on this teaching thing, I pull some bonehead move to remind myself how much more I have to learn.  Today’s example: history test.  Not only did I manage to craft an exam that had my students scoring an average of 38%, but Benjamin Bloom would want to have serious words with me about the questions I asked.  I’m going to force myself into the habit of giving open book exams so I actually have to think about the questions, rather than simply asking “remember and regurgitate” questions.

Para darse cabezazos contra la paredCase in point – one question I asked was to identify the thoughts of five Enlightenment philosophers (Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Voltaire & Rousseau) on the nature of man and the role of government.  What I should have asked was to explain how the philosophers of the Enlightenment impacted the course of the French Revolution – the students could have had their notebooks in front of them, but they would still have had to make connections on their own – to think about the material, rather than parse-and-barf.  Why this only occurred to me after having corrected the exam is a mystery, but you can be sure I’ll be doing better next unit.

Next time, two steps forward…

Creative Commons License photo credit: sergis blog

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