After our trip to Coorg, we drove to Mysore just in time to see the palace light up. The palace was built in 1399 by the royal family of Mysore. Its grand nature and exquisite architecture did not disappoint.
That Monday morning, we loaded the bus and headed to the Regional Institute of Education to have conversations with other future educators. We arrived and sat around a conference table with the Principal, department heads, and educators. We described our process of teaches educators. We talked about the different phases, the senior year on sight program (SYOSP) and student teaching cycles. I learned that in India, there is a country wide test future educators must pass. They experience 20 weeks as a “student teacher” and then go into their prospective focus areas.
We then gathered in a room where we met other future teachers. Here we discussed what it meant to be a “global citizen”. In today’s world, everyone is connected in some way internationally, whether that’s through pen pals, social media, or family. We discussed with Indian educators what that would mean in a classroom setting. Many students discussed their wish to stray away from the syllabus and teach in a global way. This is a hard topic to dissect; but, we attempted. We then discussed exams. At least in DPS East, the school year is divided into 4 exams. I equate them to Midterms and Finals. The kids study for these tests, pass them, and then move on. We discussed this process as well as the American system of standardized tests. One professor stood up and said something that I have not been able to shake. She said, “We have to look at our exams and see what we are testing for. Are we marking to see what the child knows or what the child does not know?”
This got me thinking about our standardized tests. Standardized tests are a judge of the teacher, not so much the student. I started thinking about the tests given to students and I’m questioning what we are testing the students. It seems like both India and America have yet to find a solution to these memorization tests.
After visiting the Institute, we had a quick lunch and went on our way. While this weekend was a nice getaway, it was amazing to be back at Casa.