Sunday, April 20, 2014

College Admissions: Beyond Conventional Testing

We have talked extensively about the new skills students must have in order to succeed in the competitive economy of the 21st century. We posted great talks by Tony Wagner, published author and currently serving as an Expert In Residence at Harvard University’s new Innovation Lab (7 Skills students need for their future and Reinventing Education for the 21st Century). We talked about the importance of the four C's to make real learning happening in the 21st Century Education (critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication). Today we want to talk about another shift that is progressively happening. We all know that there is often a disconnect between the kind of student colleges say they want (students who are engaged citizens and independent thinkers with a desire to be a part of the school’s community) and what students have to do to be admitted. That’s why high school graduates are increasingly becoming, “robo students” in the words of Stanford Lecturer Denise Pope, young people “doing school,” but not necessarily learning. Given this phenomenon, some universities and colleges are beginning to rethink their admission policies and recognize more directly how their requirements influence the kind of teaching and learning that happens at the K-12 level - Do Rigid College Admissions Leave Room for Creative Thinkers? Katrina Schwartz - Mind Shift - How we will learn
We also already posted a great TED talk by Robert Sternberg: None of the Above - Why Standardized Testing Fails
Robert Sternberg is an American psychologist and psychometrician. He is currently Professor of Human Development at Cornell University. He developed his first intelligence test in seventh grade and since then has become one of the top 100 psychologists of the 20th century. In his book -- College Admissions for the 21st Century -- Sternberg discusses his experiment at Tufts University (non-cognitive evaluation of applicants) and why it shows, in his belief, the inadequacy of traditional college admissions tools.
Please watch his presentation at the Conference "Undergraduate Admissions for the 21st Century", held on 18th May 2012 in Trinity College Dublin.
Further Reading:
- College Admissions: Beyond Conventional Testing
- College Admissions for the 21st Century
- Sternberg and Measuring Creativity
- Assessing What Matters
- Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized: A New Model for Liberal Education
- To get the real star students, college admissions should look beyond SATs

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