Sunday, September 21, 2008

Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

To followup on our discussion about teaching (and assessing) students related to cartography. Below are some sample questions pulled from a national database of test questions.

Question 1
Question 2
Question 3

If you want to see more questions you can visit the database yourself. Just select Geography as the subject area.

While standardized tests don't represent the depth (or the best) of what is happening in U.S. classrooms, they at least represent some of the skills and knowledge the state considers essential. They also provide a starting point for asking questions like: What cartography-related skills and knowledge should students have when they leave school? How do you go about teaching these things? Do standardized tests do a good job of assessing students' skills and knowledge? What other forms of assessment might work better (specific to geography/cartography)? For example, perhaps students should spend more time engaging in the practice(s) of mapmaking the way Denis Wood does. See the This American Life show on mapmaking mentioned below (Great episode, thanks for sharing) or follow these links for more on Denis Wood.

The Power of Maps (Denis Wood)
Boylan Heights Neighborhood Maps by Denis Wood

No comments: