The Significance Of Diagnostics
‘I just don’t get it!’, ‘I’m not a Math person!’ ‘Can we do something else, please.’ These are exasperating statements we hear often as parents or as teachers.
Our children sometimes have an unswerving conviction that a certain subject is not meant for them! No matter what our counter argument is, they have almost assured themselves that it’s not their cup of tea.
Is it fair to let our children firm up their beliefs in their self-diagnosed shortcoming or, as parents, should we intervene?
For most parents, the answer is to to intervene but the solution is usually not as simple as fixing the obvious gaps that parents / teachers may notice. The situation is not too dissimilar from when your child complains of a consistent tummy ache; parents intervene, consult a medical professional who may run medical tests that dig deep to determine root cause(s) of the problem. Medical science, in this case, gives answers that may not be obvious, even to a doctor.
Education science is similar.
Consider the following scenario. Amina is in Grade 4 but she is struggling in reading. Her problem could be due to a combination of weak vocabulary, weak skills in comprehending informational or literary text or even phonics and/or phonological awareness. Yes, Reading is science. Most likely, she needs help across all these areas.
If you are Amina’s parent, how will you decide (a) which areas (out of vocabulary, high frequency words, phonics, phonological awareness, comprehending information or literary texts) to reinforce and (b) where to start (same grade level, year before or even earlier) Finally, you must also make sure you do not over test Amina (all called “test fatigue from too much testing”). Due to test fatigue, Amina may not give adequate responses which means diagnostic results are compromised (this is like eating before taking a fasting sugar test) and cannot be relied upon.
What you really want is ONE test that will check ALL domains and ALL prior learning Amina has had to determine where her weakness(es) lie.
i-Ready Diagnostic is such a test. Using adaptive technology, i-Ready Diagnostic digs deep and provides answers that are not obvious to parents or even teachers (like the doctors above). Just like medical science, education science no longer needs to rely on guess work.
Let us not decide our children’s challenges by looking at just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s dive deep down with them and discover together what their challenges are so they can be addressed in a systematic and robust manner.