Are tests really the best way to measure these children?

Our society measures people. How would you like to be measured? Bank balance? Titles? Weight? What measures are appropriate for students in Catholic school?

While academic measures are necessary, there are more important measures as well. How well do students know Jesus and the church? How do they live as Jesus’ disciples and treat others as Jesus would want them treated?

While honouring academic responsibilities and the attendant required measures, we can employ faith measures too. We can test knowledge of the faith, but we might do it in cooperative learning ways so that students help each other to understand the faith. We might employ more creative ways to measure knowledge than traditional tests. A gospel drama that retells a parable in a modern way can test how well the message of the story is understood.

Observing behaviours that apply what we learned can be true measures of discipleship. This entails behaviours as well as knowledge. Ask students to suggest behaviours that are Christian when doing group work or when they are on the playground. You might enlist them to help see who “measures up”. For example, when reading about the parable of the prodigal son, invite students to watch for classmates who are forgiving toward others.

To Do: Decide upon the best measures of discipleship for your students. Discuss the measures with them, allowing them to identify measures too. Make all of these the measures you apply.

To Pray:  Jesus, you taught that how we measure is how we will be measured. Lead me to measure others as I want to be measured – with love. Amen.