In my neck of the woods, after their first three years of work teachers are required to take the Praxis exam to renew their certification. I remember when I took it, I breezed through the content section, but was left frustrated and puzzled by the “pedagogy” section. I knew what the answers were supposed to be, I was just very unhappy about it.
The questions were all loaded left-wing ideology questions, things like, “Why is it a good idea to always mainstream a severely emotionally disturbed student in a general classroom?” or, “List three ways you can alter your curriculum to be sensitive to the needs of disenfranchised minorities?” The glib assumptions implicit in the philosophy behind the whole test were outrageous.
I’m taking a couple of rounds of classes now for a step increase on the pay scale (like that’s actually going to happen…*sigh*), and in the little quiz questions I’m required to pass in order to finish each class, I’m seeing the same kind of philosophy. It’s so prevalent and so predictable, I’m pretty sure I could answer them without even having reviewed the course content first.
With that in mind, here’s some advice for my colleagues in similar situations, and for you poor education majors out there in undergrad land, for passing tests in education courses:
- True/false questions that query the value of “diversity,” “differentiation,” or “inclusion” are always true.
- If “multiple intelligences” is an option on a multiple choice question, pick it. It’s the answer they want to see.
- Any option on a multiple choice question that sounds reasonable, rational, or logial because it worked for our grandparents’ generation, will always be wrong.
- By contrast, any option that smacks of recent trends in experimental political correctness will always be right.
- If given an essay question, here’s an all-purpose answer: “I would make sure that every student thrives in an environment of accepting self-awareness that helps them maximize their individual potential by respecting their unqiue learning modalities.”
- Never write an answer that suggests you will lecture, make students memorize something, or that you will quiz them without notice. This will get you in trouble.
- If none of the above helps on a particular question, just choose the option that sounds the most “fun” for students. That’s the one they want.