This desire for readiness is not new, evidenced by the increase in kindergarten readiness assessments. As the demand to raise test scores grew, the use of assessments in kindergarten expanded to close the “achievement gap” between certain groups of students. This may sound like a good approach to helping all student succeed, but when you combine a push for readiness with test-based accountability, you create a recipe for disaster. The pressure of test-based accountability puts the responsibility for learning on the teacher and the school who ultimately must ensure students are ready. Ready for what? For students to be ready to learn, they need to recognize that they must take responsibility for making learning happen. Teachers, parents, and the community can support young people by providing them with rich learning experiences that pique their curiosity and motivate them to learn more. Standardized assessments in kindergarten or high school are a barrier to authentic teaching and learning. Opportunities for self-directed learning can best develop true readiness to learn. And the best form of self-directed learning is PLAY!
Many thanks to Susan DuFresne for capturing and sharing a video of the panel. To view the video please, click below: