Sunday, June 2, 2013

Did You Study For The Test?

I am a curious man, and I love to read and study many things.  But every now and again there is something that either disturbs me or I just do not understand.  One of these things is standardized testing.

The people who have put these tests together throw in a bunch of stuff.  It is assumed that all who are taking or who have taken these tests know the material.  But it appears that many do not.  So, if they do not, why is it that they do not know the test material?   This, I believe, is a reasonable question that must be asked by others more proficient than I to the testers.

If, just if we were to take a variety of species, and then asked them, as a test, to climb to the top of a 100 ft. tree in so many seconds, a man would fail this test.  Monkeys and squirrels would be quick, while a man and lion would suffer in the ascent.  The common house cat might succeed, but would require a rescue from the local fire department.  Yes, I know that this example is silly but it proves a point.  Here is a more reasonable, down to earth example with a solution.

An old acquaintance of mine, a master chief in the United States Navy, had a teaching assignment.  He had to teach electronics theory and repair of various equipment to those who had displayed interest or some kind of aptitude in that arena on their navel entrance exams.  It was not an easy task.  He discovered that he had two types of students:  one kind was book smart but did not know the difference between a screw driver and a pliers, while the others had all the mechanical aptitude but were lost when it came down to math and electronic theory.  His solution was to pair them off and let them teach each other.  The result - all of his students graduated and served their country well.  There is a reason why I used this example.

I believe that all of us possess genius in at least one area of life:  like the guy who can diagnose what's wrong with your car with little effort to the doctor who can figure out that you have a diseased gall bladder without any fancy tests.  And of course there are more.  These points of individual genius need to be discovered and cultivated like a unique rose.  If a man cannot climb that tree for what ever the reason, so be it.  That is not his talent; it lies elsewhere.  That man, no, all of us, needs to discover and cultivate our personal rose.  Do not expect others to do it for you.  And, maybe we need to learn from that old master chief.

                                                        Copyright @2013 Terry Unger    

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