This study examines the way college freshmen look at standardized testing after years of experiencing it in the public educational system. Standardized testing has left its mark, not always a positive one, on students and it will continue to do so unless an alternative or even reform of the current method takes its place. Through the use of qualitative research, focus groups were conducted to better understand the topic at hand. Each focus group contained four college freshmen, they were asked a series of questions to obtain an insight into their experiences and other methods they see better than standardized testing. After analyzing the information we see that many students feel standardized testing needs reform because it causes too much stress for something that is not really necessary. Standardized testing is seen as unfair and the necessity for it is not immediately apparent for many. Learning for a test is no longer an acceptable method.
|Key Words: Standardized testing, education, teachers, focus group, stress|
How many standardized tests have you taken in your life? Now from all those exams how many nights have you slept late just to study? Finally, how much of the information you studied for those exams do you remember? Are you seeing a recurring theme? It is argued that standardized testing has helped students in the United States of America become smarter, but studies show it has done the exact opposite. Math scores have not changed over the years and during some years they go down from the previous years, the same happens for English and science scores. Standardized testing has taken all the fun out of learning for both the teachers and the students. Teachers are forced to teach for an exam that they do not even create and often times do not even grade. Students are being taught how to take a test instead of learning things they may interest them or may help them in the future. This study apart from looking into the experiences of students, who have gone through their whole educational careers with standardized tests, takes a stand against them.
|Outline of My Research|
The start of every research study needs a proposal that will reassure that the idea of whatever you are investigating is worthwhile, the method you will use to investigate is reasonable and the results from your research study will be a contribution to the field you are investigating. In my case, my research proposal focuses on why it is worthwhile to take a second look at standardized testing.
Here you will find a literature review, one might be asking themselves what is a literature review? Well, it is when you focus on one specific field, read texts about that field and then combine both summary and synthesis when writing about what you have read. In this case, we will be focusing on different articles, videos and websites about standardized testing.
In order to proceed with interacting with human subjects, you have to have a game plan and knowledge about how qualitative research works. Here you will find the different choices I made to have the most optimal focus group possible.
Once everything was said in done in the focus group I looked back with a fine tooth comb and a magnifying glass at my notes. Here you will find the different themes that came up from my search.
After everything was done and written, I still had to look back to answer my research question. Here you will find my final words on everything.
I am not one of those people that can write perfect right off the bat, there is a lot of trial and error involved with my writing process. Here you will find all my drafts before the final product.