Educational standards are the foundation of the modern educational endeavor. Statements about educational success imply standards. Measuring whether or not students are being properly educated involves testing them in particular subjects with its prescribed set of grade-appropriate standards that they must meet or exceed (Paul D. Spears and Steven R. Loomis. Education for Human Flourishing: A Christian Perspective.* InterVarsity Press, 2009. p.100).
The battery of standardized tests which Spears and Loomis go onto describe and critique in Chapter 3: Who Knows? Education and epistemology are not just applicable my fourth grade twin girls, as I hear a variety of students/educators in higher education discuss standardized tests with some frequency (particularly at PSU-Hershey Medical Center). Here are the questions Spears and Loomis bring to our attention:
- What do such tests actually tell us about the student’s intelligence, ability, creativity, insightfulness or grasp of reality?
- Do current standards provide an accurate way to assess a genuine education?
- What does it mean to be educated?
- How do educators determine the success or failure of our educational project? (p. 100)
Any responses? Do the “answers” vary depending on the level, sphere of education
- Fourth graders
- Medical students
- Undergraduate History major prepare to teach Secondary Education versus preparing for Graduate School
- Computer Science PhD student headed to Microsoft versus a Faculty position involving Research/Teaching
- Vo-Tech student
As you’re mulling these things over, here are the three types of knowledge the authors discuss in chapter 2 and remind the reader of in chapter 3:
- technical knowledge or what is more commonly called know-how
- propositional knowledge, which is knowledge of facts
- knowledge of acquaintance, which is knowledge about something in direct awareness (103).
More coming from Chapter 3.
About the author:
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the Northeast Regional Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). For a number of years, the Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine was the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!