Future Teachers Deterred by Standardized Tests: A Michigan Story, A National Problem

By Lindsay Jeffers Tania, an exuberant, creative, and bright African American student, is finally pursuing a career she has always dreamed about, albeit a little later than she anticipated. ¬†She enrolled at her university in 2013 as an Elementary Education major and began her coursework. During her sophomore year, Tania took the Professional Readiness Exam…

Photo of a girl sitting in a field and writing. Photo reads, The Harvest Writer

Nurturing Literacy, Not Test-Taking

By Dawn Kirby Literacy as Nurture: Learning, Improving, and Having Fun Try a mini-experiment. Think about activities in which you engage for fun, for pure joy and pleasure. ¬†Mentally list a few. Now, consider these questions: Does anyone officially grade you on that activity? Are you required to write a paper about why you like…

From Drilling and Testing to Discovering and Thinking: Finding the Heart of Writing in School

By Kristen Hawley Turner and Troy Hicks Arthur Applebee, a leading scholar in the field of writing instruction, shared some new research during his keynote at the Writing Research Across Borders III conference last week in Paris. Applebee and his colleagues have conducted two wide-scale studies — 30 years apart — about the state of…