Journal of Critical Issues in Educational Practice


testing, curriculum, standardized tests, high stakes tests


The standards movement began as a nobly-intended effort to establish a core curriculum—a template of knowledge and skills that would guide teaching and learning across the K-12 curriculum. Our attempts to standardize curriculum may have unintended and deleterious side-effect: The atrophying of the mind’s natural tendencies for exploratory play and inherently imaginative dimensions. This paper engages us in a critical remembering of our pedagogical relationships with children. It reminds us of children’s ways of being and asks how we might engage them in a rigorous appreciation of curricular literacies without thwarting their wonderful wanderings. Ultimately, we worry about the place of standardized testing in this picture which circulates and perpetuates prevailing risk management discourses and colonizes pedagogical relations.

Author Statement

Dr Randall Wright and Dr Alayne Sullivan are professors in the College of Education, California State University San Bernardino