25 Things Tests Can’t Measure In Students

Things Tests Can't Measure

25 Things Tests Can’t Measure In Students

by TeachThought Staff

Who knew a vertical sliver of paper, stamped with little bubbles and otherwise boringly plain and harmless, could become such a contentious issue in education?

After all, the world itself runs on tests. Medical tests, vacuum tests for cars, vision tests for your eyes, health department tests for restaurants, test flights, athletic competitions, bar examinations, and dozens more. They’re ubiquitous!

So why the scorn for testing children? How else will we know if they’re learning?

Testing And Education Reform

That a test–at least the standardized tests we give in schools today–represents only a narrow snapshot of a child’s abilities isn’t a new proposition. That they promote reductive views of intelligence, mislead families and communities, and are often punitive for teachers and students alike also isn’t new, which is where this image by @sylviaduckworth comes in.

The graphic is based on the idea of personality qualities, rather than the content knowledge and academic skills measured by most standardized testing today., that are beyond the reach of testing today. There are many potential takeaways here, so let’s document a few in the form of a question:

What do we test today and why?

Why should we be testing and why?

Are tests the best way to measure learning?

Should we measure learning? Why or why not? Are the other ways of measuring understanding?

What role does ‘personality’ have in ‘life’? Do these kinds of ‘soft skills’ matter in K-12 education?

Should we use academic knowledge to promote personality traits or personality traits to promote academic knowledge? Or something else entirely?

What can and can’t be measured, and how should education respond to whatever our answer is?

25 Things Tests Can’t Measure In Students

1. Sense of Wonder

2. Resourcefulness

3. Motivation

4. Creativity

5. Critical Thinking

6. Self-discipline

7. Resilience

8. Endurance

9. Grit

10. Persistence

11. Determination

12. Curiosity

13. Question Asking

14. Humor

15. Leadership

16. Civic Mindedness

17. Courage

18. Humility

19. Enthusiasm

20. Spontaneity

21. Self-awareness

22. Compassion

23. Empathy

24. Reliability

25. Sense of Beauty

Can A Test Measure This? 25 Personality Qualities Not Measured By Tests