Standardized tests and assessments are used to examine children’s academic achievement and can also provide an idea of their mental strengths and weaknesses. I believe these assessments should be used, within reason, to measure and assess a child’s mind. These assessments allow teachers, parents and society to compare a child’s performance amongst their peers or age group. However, it does not truly asset their abilities. For instance, you may have two children who received the same score on an assessment, however, their abilities may be completely different.
Intelligence tests can be influenced by different experiences and behaviors, and they should not be used solely to predict/determine a person’s intellectual potential. According to McCauley, “the child is influenced by, and in turn influences the nature of the caregiving and social environment. Children’s social relationships can have a considerable effect on their cognitive growth and this in turn influences the assessment situation. The child’s ability to socially interact and engage with others is relevant to the assessment situation (Grieve, 1992).”
In china, school evaluations and assessments views are the same; however research shows China is reforming their assessments. In an effort to reform school evaluation and assessment in China their assessment was divided into two parts.“The first part was called “assessment of general quality in learning” and focused on assessing students’ development in a) moral performance, b) civil awareness, c) learning aptitude, d) ability in communication and cooperation, e) physical wellbeing, f) aesthetic literacy. The results of assessment were to be reported by qualitative descriptions and rating grades. The second part focused on the assessment of students’ achievement in: a) knowledge and skills, b) methods and process, c) emotion, attitude and value” (Lingbiao, 2007)
“The new policy also called for changes in pen-and-paper tests in that they should:
- Focus on assessing students’ abilities in understanding, analyzing and problem solving;
- Relate closely to students’ daily experience and the society;
- Use more open-ended items rather than multiple choice and closed items; and
- Adopt open-book tests if possible (2003b)” (Lingbiao, 2007).
Additionally, the USA should encourage changes in children assessment all around as well. According to Lingbia, “ MOE tried to promote changes in student assessment from measuring only knowledge and cognitive skills to all-round aspects of intelligence and development; from neglecting the diversity of student characteristics and orientations to taking all these into account; from dealing with students as only passive objects to encouraging them to play a more active roles; from very centralized control and competitive atmosphere to less centralized and more relaxed atmosphere. The new policies, among other things” (2007, paragraph 14). Assessments should go beyond the academic performance and also assesses a child’s everyday functioning, social knowledge, mechanical skills, and/or creativity. In addition, the complexity of real-life situations should also be evaluated.
Lingbiao, G. (2007, January 6). Assessment reform in China: A respond to the international trend in the new century. Retrieved october 11, 2014, from http://xypj.cersp.com/GLB/LUNWEN/200701/3223.html
McCauley, L. (n.d.). The developmental assessment of young children. Retrieved October 11, 2014, from http://www.priory.com/psych/assessyoung.htm