The Ontario Student Standardized Literacy Test (OSSLT) happens next week for all grade 10 students in this province. It is a graduation requirement and one that creates much stress and anxiety for students.

As an educator that believes in project based learning, this test goes against every pedagogical and philosophical belief I have about education, but yet it is a reality for my students so I feel compelled to complete in class preparation activities especially since I teach a grade ten applied level class.

I’m trying a different spin from giving them examples and having them complete them in class. From the EQAO website, I have printed copies of previous year’s tests and actual responses from other students and the annotations the graders provided. I’m going to have the students look at the responses and decide how they would improve the weak ones and to identify the characteristics of the strong responses.

I’m also going to help them identify reading strategies to aid in their comprehension skills and give them tips about how to answer and/or decipher multiple choice questions.

I really despise structuring my lessons this way. It annoys me that student choice is eliminated, there is no differentiated assessment, and that most students will not have access to technology to type their answers. It goes against all of the professional development and teacher learning that I engage with on a daily basis and that we receive in our schools and it leaves me feeling extreme cognitive dissonance…


4 thoughts on “Teaching to the test…

  1. It’s such a shame that Education has come to this! They have similar testing over here in Australia for Year 3, 5, 7 and 9. There is a public website that shows all the testing data and info about schools on the Australian website called ‘My School’. Since being back in Australia for the last 3 years I can not believe how many people I meet that seem to be snobbish about certain schools because of My School results! My School does NOT show the whole picture of learning. Standardised testing has impacted and limited the way teachers teach.

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