Deferred Learning

I was talking to an elementary teacher this week about ways she might be able to use Google Earth in her instruction.


With her interactive whiteboard, LitTrips, for studying history, exploring other cultures.

She told me that it all sounded wonderful, something her students would really respond to and enjoy using.

And then… “Maybe we can plan to do something with Google Earth after the SOLs.”*


Wouldn’t it be nice if everything we did in schools was that after-the-SOLs kind of learning?

* SOL = Standards of Learning, the shorthand name for Virginia’s spring collection of standardized tests. What did you think it meant? :-)

3 Comments Deferred Learning

  1. Carolyn Foote

    Why do we think that learning is what happens AFTER the tests?

    Why doesn’t anyone fathom that THERE is a method of teaching where students actually learn besides drilling for a test, and that using those methods will mean students could actually both enjoy learning and do better on the test?

    Are creative teaching and testing mutually exclusive?

  2. Jenny

    Ugh. I hear that kind of thing way too often. It makes being in first grade (rather than fourth or fifth) a joy. I hope I didn’t do that as an upper grade teacher, and I don’t think I did, but it is an easy trap to fall into.

    By the way, I met a friend for drinks at the State Education Technology Directors Association conference earlier this week. I was amazed at how many of them didn’t know our standards are the SOLs. I figured that had to be common knowledge, if only as a laughingstock.

  3. Philip Cummings

    I find it sad that this line of thinking is so common, but I, too, hear it all the time. Fortunately not every class/grade-level is tested in our state, but I hear that a lot from teachers of courses that are. I actually had a discussion this week with a high school biology teacher who is waiting to do labs until after her students take the Tennessee End of Course (EOC) test. While I think she is still a wonderful teacher and her students generally score well, I would hate to have had to learn biology without the hands-on interactivity of labs. For me, those “extras” are what really brought the curriculum to life.


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