Friday, January 31, 2014

The Defiant Parents: Testing’s Discontents – Response to Hunt

Some blog followers might be interested in a discussion list post “The Defiant Parents: Testing’s Discontents – Response to Hunt” [Hake (2014)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: In a post “Re: The Defiant Parents: Testing's Discontents” [Hake (2014)] at, I pointed to the “vigorous leadership, voluminous messaging, and pro-public-/anti-private-education positions of (a) Diane Ravitch and (b) FairTest Then I commented that neither appeared to be informed regarding the virtues of rigorous measurement of students' higher-order learning by means of zero-stakes formative evaluation “designed and used to improve an intervention, especially when it is still being developed” [JCSEE, copied onto p. 132 by Frechtling et al. (2010) at

In response, Russ Hunt (2014) at wrote: “The virtues of rigorous testing aren't really the point: it's how the tests are administered and what uses they’re put to that Ravitch and Fair Test (and I) are concerned with.”

However, it IS to the point for many of those who wish to enhance students’ higher-level learning, as I have emphasized in, e.g.:

1. “Lessons from the Physics Education Reform Effort” [Hake (2002)] at;

2. “The Physics Education Reform Effort: A Possible Model for Higher Education” [Hake (2005)] at;

3. “Should We Measure Change? Yes!” [Hake (2007a)] at (2.5 MB);

4. “Re: pre-to-post tests as measures of learning/teaching” [Hake (2008a)] at;

5. “Design-Based Research in Physics Education Research: A Review” [Hake (2008b)] at (1.1 MB);

6. “The Impact of Concept Inventories On Physics Education and Its Relevance For Engineering Education” [Hake (2011a)] at (8.7 MB);

7. “SET's Are Not Valid Gauges of Students' Higher-Level Learning #2” [Hake (2011b)] at;

8. “The NRC Finally Comes to Its Senses on Improving STEM Education” [Hake (2013a)] at; and

9. “Can the Cognitive Impact of Calculus Courses be Enhanced?” Hake (2013b)] at (2.7 MB).

To access the complete 66 kB post please click on

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University; Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands; President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References which Recognize the Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII); LINKS TO: Academia; Articles; Blog; Facebook; GooglePlus; Google Scholar; Linked In; Research Gate; Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs; Twitter

“Physics educators have led the way in developing and using objective tests to compare student learning gains in different types of courses, and chemists, biologists, and others are now developing similar instruments. These tests provide convincing evidence that students assimilate new knowledge more effectively in courses including active, inquiry-based, and collaborative learning, assisted by information technology, than in traditional courses.” - Wood & Gentile (2003).

REFERENCES [URLs shortened by and accessed on 31 Jan 2014.]
Hake, R.R. 2014. “The Defiant Parents: Testing's Discontents – Response to Hunt,” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.

Wood, W.B., & J.M. Gentile. 2003. “Teaching in a research context,” Science 302: 1510; 28 November; online as a 213 kB pdf, thanks to Ecoplexity

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