“Practice makes perfect” and Inquiry Based Learning

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Lots of assessment gurus have talked at length about the importance of “practice before the big game.” That is, having practices before a game where the score is actually recorded for rankings, etc.  In the world of education, that would be giving students practices before students do an assessment.  The difference from traditional assessment methods is students are actually practicing skills that are transferable and usable, and will be less likely forgotten like memorized material.  There are a ton of educators already doing inquiry and project based learning to provide the building and practice of skills which more likely lead to genuine and authentic learning experiences.  There are many more educators on their way to using less multiple choice/memory-based testing and more inquiry activities.   If we expand into the lives of our students beyond the walls of the school, many of them live the “practice before the big game” motto already.  They are involved in music and sports, all who have practices before the big or recitals/shows or games, respectively.  Even for myself, I hit the driving range before a round of golf or have numerous practice sessions before a tennis tournament starts. Why would we behave differently in our schools?

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