New Perspectives: New Challenges - First English Language Conference

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Research Title: 
Teaching to Pass Exams Vs Teaching to Master Skills
abdul-Jabbar R. Khalili
Sat, 2009-12-05
Research Abstract: 

Teaching to Pass Exams Vs Teaching to Master Skills

Year in and year out, exams remain the most reliable means of assessment of a student’s performance and achievement whether we are training the student to master skills or we are providing him/her with pure or theoretical knowledge. Although teachers are required to be faithful to the objectives set for the syllabi they deal with, they mostly design their teaching method to serve other interests. Passing exams is crucial to the student to proceed from one level to another, graduate or start a business, and it is also essential to the instructor as one of the factors to measure his/her success at work.

A major drawback of this concern in passing exams as the ultimate goal is that we focus more on a set of testing points only. We tend to ignore a more ambitious objective, developing skills and abilities essential for the student to succeed in school or college, the workplace, and in life in general.

In this paper, I will contrast some aspects of the two approaches to teaching, one that focuses on exams as the end in the teaching process, and the other which stresses the importance of skills needed for passing exams and for life after exams and college.