Over the course of your education, do you feel as though you have learned an unnecessary amount of facts?
Were you taught a bunch of information that went in one ear, stayed long enough to pass a test, and then out the other ear?
Well this is exactly how many teachers are structuring their classes. We have been filling our students minds with information that may come in handy during a trivia game but that knowledge is not being applied in greater depth. Anyone who has been keeping up with the current state of education would know that Common Core is in constant debate. Both sides bring legitimate arguments to the table when discussing the success of our students through Common Core. One thing that cannot go without mention is Bloom’s Taxonomy. Bloom’s has been a standard that has impacted the way that teachers have assessed their students. The famous upside down pyramid has set a course that is followed when organizing these assessments. Although this has been a standard for quite sometime, Wineburg’s revision has been gaining support and creating discussion on the switch of assessment approaches.
For so long now education, especially history has been creating assessment by focusing on facts and details rather than in depth analysis. Wineburg says, “… the aim is not merely to collect what is known, but to learn how to think about problems in a new way”. We are doing our students a disservice by filling them with facts and letting them just assume that that is all that they need to take from our classes. The way that Common Core has been implemented has created a disconnect between what is being taught and what our students are tested on. Standards ask for students to analyze, examine, compare and contrast, ultimately digging deeper into the foundation of history that we seem to be emphasizing on so much. The structure that Bloom’s has presented teachers is by focusing solely on what knowledge we can deposit into our students minds. Is this really what is beneficial to our students? Teaching to a test is limiting our students to what they are capable of doing. We are setting up the expectations that being critical thinkers is not necessary only collecting shallow knowledge is. Wineburg has realized that Bloom’s Taxonomy is necessary, but maybe it needs to be flipped upside down. Knowledge is important but what our students do with that knowledge needs to be our focus now.
Although teaching our students to realize that thinking critically is important, is it necessary to teach our students to be historians?
First I would like to introduce myself. My name is Sarah McDavid and I am a senior at Appalachian State University. I was born and raise in North Carolina which seems like it is becoming more rare. I am studying to become a high school history teacher but I am still leaving the next chapter of my life open to see where I am called to go. Growing up I always dreamed of being a teacher but as I grew up the state of education in North Carolina turned me away from my dream job. As my time at App went on I realized that I rather spend the rest of my life doing what I loved than do something I hated but make a lot of money so here I am.
Going into my senior year of college I have been overwhelmed by where God has brought me. Yes, I love the Lord and am not ashamed to say it. From the people that I have surrounded myself with and my future being right around the corner I have learned that the world is so much bigger than myself. Every time I think about leaving my friends and this place, or when I get overwhelmed with the fact that I don’t feel prepared to teach, I just think about the students that will be in my classroom. I can’t wait for the day that I can stand in front of my students, look them in the eyes and know that we are about to go on a journey together that is filled with learning, growth, and understanding. By this I don’t only mean with content material, I want it to go deeper than that. I want my students to learn from me but me from them. I want them to look back on their time in my class and be able to say that they grew as people. And lastly, I want them to gain an understanding that they may feel small in this world, but it is sometimes the smallest things that can leave the greatest impression.
Random Facts About Myself:
- I LOVE football.
- Country music will always be my go to.
- I am obsessed with everything Christmas.
- I would much rather travel America than the world. (But going abroad wouldn’t be bad either)
- Some of my best childhood memories are from coming up to Boone.
- Reality TV is my guilty pleasure, although I don’t really feel guilty about it.
- I sponsor a child through Compassion International.
- Fall is my favorite season.
- My favorite movies are Sweet Home Alabama, The Parent Trap, My Best Friends Wedding, and Home Alone 2.
- One of my favorite times of the year is when the Pumpkin Spice Latte comes back to Starbucks.
- I have a pretty sassy side but people learn to love it.
- The farthest I’ve traveled is Costa Rica.
- I have an older sister. I also have a nephew who is the GREATEST child on the planet.
- If I could have any talent I would be a ballroom dancer so I could be on Dancing With the Stars.
- My dream vacation/trip would be to go on a road trip with all of my friends.
- The 4Fs are a perfect way to sum up what is important in my life. Faith. Family. Friends. Football.