Written MB tests?
Berk Moss (mossfam@TELEPORT.COM)
Tue, 19 Aug 1997 07:31:04 -0700
On Fri, 15 Aug 1997,
Terry Humphries <thumphr@PDAINC.COM>
wrote to us:
Subject: Merit Badge Testing
Terry > Hi, Have any of you fellow merit badge counselors ever used
Terry > exams to confirm a scouts knowledge of the requirements for a
Terry > merit badge? Also, I was wondering what everyone else thought
Terry > about the idea?
Terry > Terry Humphries
Terry > Troop 403 Holden, Mo.
I've had Scouts on their own initative give me written answers to some to
the "Citizenship int the. . . " merit badges. But we both realize that if
the MB says "Tell . . . " that I am accepting their written words as
something beyond the minimum requirement. If there is any doubt, I as a few
oral questions which usually clears things up or shows where the Scout
needs to learn more.
Giving a written test may be an easy way to check who has exceeded the
requirements, but it doesn't pass the Scouts who have the knowledge but
don't do well in written tests.
Also note that many MB requirements require "Show..." "Tie..."
"Demonatrate...: or some other demonstration of skill. Answering a wrtitten
test on how to tie a rescue know is not the same as doing it! One of the
strenghts of Scouting is the "Do..." aspect.
Story: Would you rather fly with a pilot who had never taken off and landed
a plane but got 95% on an exam on the skills needed or a pilot who has done
5000 take offs and landings and got 90% on his latest test.
Story #2: I'm a school guy. This type of assessment where the student is
required to produce in a real life situation and be compared to clear,
pre-set criteria is called "performance assessment" and is on the cutting
edge of whe the school reform movement. When I do teacher trainings on the
topic it is no supprise how many Scout examples creep into my talks.
Teacher / Scouters in my training groups have the idea right away.
Written tests are OK, but I want my dentist / CPR guy / camp cook / pilot
etc. to have been through a performance assessment too!
Berk Moss Pioneer District Advancement Committee
Assistant Scoutmaster Troop 427 Cascade-Pacific Council
Multnomah Village, Portland Oregon O/A Brotherhood
e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Bear Patrol Woodbadge WEM 492-1-94
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City