Guest speaker urges against standardized testing in schools
Published Friday, February 22, 2013 3:34PM CST
Last Updated Friday, February 22, 2013 6:52PM CST
The province is considering going back to yearly standardized testing for grades 4 to 12. However, the keynote speaker at Friday’s Saskatoon Teacher’s Association convention said that isn’t the way to go.
Pasi Sahlberg, one of the founders of Finland’s education system, said standardized testing doesn’t lead to better educated students. Instead, he said invest in teachers.
“I think we realized early on we have to invest in teachers. It’s teachers who make the difference in the classroom,” Sahlberg told CTV Morning Live Friday morning.
Finland ranks first in the world when it comes to student achievement. And they reached their title without standardized testing. In Finland, teachers are required to have masters degrees, and the competition to enter the field is fierce.
“Research is very clear about wherever testing is driving education improvement these are things you experience: you narrow the curriculum, you give more importance to areas that are tested, and teachers are forced spend more time on things they think matter in the tests,” Sahlberg said.
The keynote speaker said that a better strategy is to build on the strengths that teachers already have.
“With your accomplishments in this province it’s fair to say that investing in teachers and schools is the better way to go,” he said.