Learning is fun so as schooling? But what if your schooling tries to oppress your learning?
I am now a college student but still, I am in the midst of contemplating on the importance of schooling in my life—education I may say is important to my life, but schooling? A little, I think. I grew up in a family of educators, my grandma and aunties are teachers. That is why I am obliged to go to school. At first up to the very last stage of my schooling, I may say that I enjoyed it, why? Because I meet my friends, I am on top rank, I have high grades and I learn many things. That’s all about it, I don’t even bother to think its relevance to my life, all I know that time is that, I should go to school, listen to my teachers as they talk and have the highest possible grade. But, is this really the purpose of schooling, or should I say education?
One thing that I have learned when I studied Module 3 of EDS 113 is that, my thinking might be affected by the assessment used in my schooling times. I must say that the reason why I have this somewhat negative thinking on schooling is maybe because, the assessment that is used in schools do not promote meta-cognitive learning at all, but competition. The one who will top the exam will have the highest grade and that is why we need to compete to each other to receive that gold medal and to be recognized as the first honor. I am once a consistent honor in my class from Elementary to High School, and I know the feeling to become the first among the rest. Yes it is quiet overwhelming and it makes your parents proud, but upon having my college school, I have taught that it is a little worth. The thing that I should have given the highest priority is the knowledge and skills that I should be able to get when I am in that level. I do not say that I do not received the skills that I ought to have but, I think, it is not the way I should have learned it and my fellow student should have acquired. I think there is something more that we should have given priority—that is, the learning.
I can still remember when our teacher announces that we will have our long exam. This is the signal that we will entering our what we call “hell week”. We need to prepare for a long memorization, trying to compress all the knowledge that has been taught during teaching process and to cram. I can still remember myself giving much of my time making reviewer and then reading it all over again and memorizing it to the best way I can. All I thought that time is that I should pass the exam and become an honor student. That’s it, and all my efforts were not wasted, I became one of the top students in my class and even in the whole school! But, do these preparations are the things that is needed in your education? I don’t know. All I know now is that my learning process and thus the assessment used to assess it should promote meta-cognitive thinking and that I should reach the higher level of thinking for me to become a productive citizen.
The reason, I think, why I acted that time was that, I am affected of the fact that the assessment method that is being used in our school are like matching type, multiple choices, identification and memorization. That is why; I need to memorize facts for me to be able to answer the questions correctly. I am not saying that these methods or type of assessment is not good; in fact, it helps us to determine the knowledge that we have acquired. But, that is not all about education. I believe that acquiring meta-cognitive thinking skills must be one of the major goals of our schooling, education and learning. That is, we should have complements on this traditional assessment.
I remember when I was in High school; I used to be a fan of multiple choice exams or the like, say matching type or something that has choices. I love that kind of assessment because if I am not sure of my answers, I was able to do elimination method—eliminating the wrong answers to come up with one or two possible answer. And if worse comes to worst, I may use the “eniminiminemo” method wherein I will sing the enimi song and when I finish the song, the last letter that I ended up would be my answer. My hatest kind of exam is identification and enumeration. I am so weak in memorizing all facts that is why; I had always exerting more effort just to memorize all the things that I should memorize. But is this really a worth of effort to have the greatest priority in my entire learning process rather than my learning and outcomes? Would it be a nice if this things would be somewhat of least priority and the greatest priority is the learning outcomes, the skills that I ought to have and the process wherein I should be able to apply my learning?
To conclude, this is my insights for this Module: we should try to complement the existing traditional assessment with some alternatives that would promote self-realization rather than competition, alternatives that would promote critical and higher thinking level, assessment that would keep a healthy environment for learning process and would promote learning rather than grades and lastly, assessment that tries to replicates or link the real challenges of life to the learning process. Traditional assessment is not a bad assessment but it should not work alone in the learning process. It should be complemented by a better assessment that could facilitate well the teaching-learning process. Moreover, this lesson is very important especially for the future and existing teachers like me, for us not to be fixed with the traditional one but explore more ways that can facilitate our student’s learning process well. This lesson in fact helps me reflect on the current status of our school’s assessment and that there should be something to do to promote alternative on the traditional assessment. Otherwise if this traditional assessment cannot be complemented by a new one, we should reconstruct this into a more comprehensive assessment that would truly facilitate and promote higher level of thinking. Lastly, this kind of assessment that I have done to the existing assessment is in fact an alternative, formative, and informal assessment. This facilitates assessment as learning.