Dan Berrett's an Old School Notion: Writing Required"

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Education is an intensely passionate area of study that has seen countless stylistic changes and movements throughout the years. As we learn more about the human mind does, and more importantly doesn’t learn, it becomes necessary to regear the focus of educators in more effective directions, even if those directions are not in line with the status quo. After just one visit to an educational psychology lecture, you will quickly discover that there are as many unique pedagogical styles as there are stars in the sky, but that for the most part, they originate from the same ideas and passions. In recent years it has become apparent that American education is not doing its full duty preparing the students in its tutelage for careers in a new and changing world, and American educators are looking to research to identify solutions to their problems.

In recent years, the American education system has been focused on a “one-size fits all” system in which all students are given the same expectations and are graded on the same standards. A major criticism of this approach has been that all learners do not learn the same and that it is difficult to gauge student learning in a way that is effectively usable with the limited input methods, such as standardized testing, that educators use as measuring tools. In the article, “An Old School Notion: Writing Required,” Dan Berrett argues that a much more effective gauge of student learning which will ultimately better prepare students for the job force would be to use writing as a means of assessment. Rather than using cold, mechanized assessment techniques, Berrett argues that writing is unique because of the high visibility that it gives the learner and the interaction between tutor and student. Although learning styles do often vary, the research presented by Berrett does strongly support the idea that learning need not be assessed based on test scores alone, but on the effort and work put in by students and the understanding...
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