Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Game Show vs. Reality Show

The program I'm teaching now has an assessment structure where Multiple-Choice Questions portion is allocated 30% and a Group Report 20%. Another 50% goes to a final exam which, alas, also includes an MCQ segment.

I confess this gets to me. I mean, MCQs' are more often than not a memory game. Not only is pointless memorisation of definitions encouraged, answering via elimination and guessing will always be a temptation. It's like we're preparing our students to be game-show experts when in the real world, the skills required to succeed usually approximate those in reality-show scenarios.

  • GAME show: general knowledge/trivia, guessing, luck, fastest to the timer, individual memory, abstract and 'useless' information, closed book, IQ, etc.
  • REALITY show: people skills, organisation/managerial skills, planning / forward-looking, negotiation / persuasion, relationship-building, conflict management, "open book", EQ, etc.

It may not be a bad idea to introduce Apprentice-style projects to high-school kids as a main form of assessment (instead of merely something the Entrepreneur Club organises once in a while). Likewise, as I suggested to a group of Form 3 kids, it might be better to reduce the number of subjects taken for SPM and spend the time/effort doing, say, free-of-charge internship at a local bank or corporation.

A good education isn't about the number of As' one scores at the end of school. It's the portfolio of skills one has mastered for use at the start of the next phase of education - life itself.

1 comment:

Barbsie said...

Dude.. I'm gonna say it again... You need to be having a chair and desk in the Ministry of Education man!