Thursday, February 25, 2010

Students aim for Mars: Miko Teaching a New generation of Space Buffs

Read more here:

Christopher Miko is doing a great job creating student interest in science, especially space science.

He made some comments on standardized tests, too:
Miko said he is currently rewriting his curriculum to focus less on acing standardized tests. Here's what the above-referenced article stated:

“I don’t feel the way I’m required to teach in the classroom is the best way to be teaching. It’s so standardized test-oriented,” he said.

While the Manhattan Beach Unified School District is the fifth-highest performing district in the state, it doesn’t mean students understand the information, he said.

“They may have memorized those facts for those tests but they don’t really get it … the depth of information.”, Accessed 2-24-2010.

It is true that higher order thinking skills (HOT skills) are needed to, "know," any subject, but, standardized tests do get a bad rap quite often. These standardized tests cover just the starting material. Students should not be afraid of them. We should not contribute to fear of test-taking.

That being said, the 4-H concept of, "Learn by doing," is a wonderful concept to apply to science. I believe that is what Miko's teaching and comments show.

As for his students, carry on. Keep up the good work. Think deeply. Try using HOT skills.

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