Recently, Matt Damon gave an interview with Pierce Morgan on CNN. The big headline to come out of the interview was what appeared to be his shocking admonishment of President Obama after being such an avid supporter of him during his candidacy. I, however, found something else he said much more interesting.
In Damon’s proclamation that President Obama has ‘misinterpreted his mandate,’ he goes on to speak about something very true about education. He mentions our country’s obsession with testing students and how “we aren’t teaching children, we’re training them.” Well stated Jason Bourne.
I think many of us agree with Mr. Damon’s sentiment, but few of us are really willing to let go of our notions that we must measure students to a similar standard. Let me be clear, I am not completely against standardized testing; it has its time and place, but we are certainly over-testing our students. To stop training our students, as Mr. Damon states, we have to be able to admit that there is more than one way to educate students and that our students cannot be defined by the results of a bubble sheet.
We’ve grown comfortable with this idea that the only way we can compete internationally is to show our test scores are up to par with everyone else, but I think with that comfort we’ve lost what makes America great–ingenuity, creativity, and problem solving. There is no current standardized test that can calculate those wonderful intangibles; however, those intangibles can be taught, explored, and reinforced.
But not through training our students. Right, Mr. Bourne?