June 2008

An Alternative to Destructive Testing Practices in Educational Programs

Presenter: Paul Zachos

Alternative Education Resource Organization’s 5th annual AERO conference. Troy, New York, June 26-29th.

Description of Workshop:

It is possible to collect information about student learning in a way that is non-threatening, and even motivating and educational. The information derived can then be devoted exclusively to improving teaching and learning. This will increasingly be the character of educational assessment in the future. Examples of this new generation of assessment practices already exist and are employed today by innovative educators who use them to obtain deep knowledge of their students.

This workshop demonstrates such an assessment and shows how it provides a rigorous and practical alternative to the harmful testing practices which now dominate educational settings. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to experience (from the student perspective) such an innovative assessment. The experience will take about 30 minutes. It will be followed by a 15 minute explanation of this new paradigm. Remaining time (as much as can be made available within the structure of the conference) will be devoted to questions and answers and participant generated discussion on alternatives to destructive testing practices.