The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

Scantrons only test patience

Christopher Karr

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The test-taking process is truly the most theatrical of all processes because there is no truth behind it. You, the instructor, pretend to believe that it helps us learn and we, the students, have been told that it helps us learn.

However, it does no such thing.

One will not find knowledge in memorization any more than a lonely man will find love in the arms of a prostitute. Memorizing passages from Aristotle’s “Poetics”cannot assist anyone in learning the application of the theories.

Yet you, mighty instructor, are somehow surprised by the fact that your students are failing to actually learn from taking tests and exams.

You, faultless instructor, have squelched whatever primitive desire that might potentially exist with your foolish rigidity. It is because of your laziness and your apathy, instructors of memorization, that we know nothing about the practical world and society in general.

You pass the proverbial buck by reducing true learning and knowledge to multiple choice, fill in the blank and true and false.

You have turned your job into a three-card monte game because you reserve the right to place the cards anywhere you like. And still, you pretend that the game is fair and the students, gullible saps that we are, pretend the deck is not stacked. When we cannot select the correct card, you are able to sleep at night by blaming the student for not being able to keep up with the crooked ways in which you shuffle the deck.

You have become a hustler on the street corner.

If you give tests to your student and truly believe it helps them learn, you are a fraud and are suffering from severe denial.

You are frauds because of your senseless conformity to the preordained system of education. You are frauds because of the carelessness with which you go about your job as an instructor.

Because you don’t know how to help us learn, you do what you feel is the next best thing: you teach us how to memorize.

Assigning a student an essay to write is much more productive.

However, you avoid this option because it doesn’t allow you the usual amount of trickery that tests allow. The essay assignment is the only time you play the education game without marked cards, and it frightens you.

We have come a very long way in education, but there are still many problems to be worked out. Perhaps students will finally be able to learn when there is some sort of machine developed that grades essays as easily as Scantron sheets.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Scantrons only test patience