In this thought-provoking new book by educator Joshua Gibbs, How to be unLucky: Reflections on the Pursuit of Virtue, the author writes:
A good assessment offers something of worth to the student in and of itself. God gives us tests not to catch and confirm us in our sin; a test sent from God offers the chance to gain virtue, even if we have not lately been in the habit of seeking virtue. The tests of God can be prepared for, but not crammed for, and neither can the tests of God be cheated on.
When we “test” our students, does our test – in and of itself – offer something of worth to the student? Do our students discover something new, something valuable, in the process of taking our test? What if our test actually cultivated virtue, asked for applied wisdom, deepened knowledge and heightened maturity? What kind of test could do such a thing?
Redemptive Educators: these are questions worth asking, conundrums worth praying about, ideals worth pursuing, perplexities worth exploring. God forbid that we, as teachers, would default to using tests and other assessments in order to “catch” kids, to confirm their sins of omission and commission – and thanks be to God that HE applies mercy along with HIS judgments as we respond to His “tests” in our lives.