International College Psychology Class to Explore the Human Consequences of FCAT Testing on Student Growth & Development

WHO: Dr. Harold Russell’s “Human Growth & Development” class at International College, Naples campus.

WHAT: The class will be conducting its own pseudo talk show spin-off, called “Thinking Critically: FCAT and its Felt Consequences with Oprah and Dr. Phil.” The topic of discussion is the Florida Education Assessment Test (FCAT).

WHEN/WHERE: On Thursday, August 7, at 6 p.m. in Room 210 at International College, Naples campus, 2655 Northbrooke Drive.

WHY: Though the FCAT has been examined from many academic standpoints, Dr. Russell’s class feels the psychological impact of the FCAT on students has not been explored deeply. Therefore, they are adopting the talk show format to investigate the test’s impact on the growth and development stages as to possible premature resignations by using the human developmental stage theories of psychiatrists Jean Piaget and Erik Erikson.

Students will explore these and other issues: How does the FCAT affect a student’s self esteem? How does the FCAT affect a student’s cognitive development? How does the FCAT affect a student’s social/personality development? Dr. Russell’s students will look at both the positive and negative impact of FCAT testing on these different stages of human development and growth.

The FCAT test, according to Dr. Russell, impacts developmental growth and could have far reaching consequences, which affect a student learner’s cognitive and social personality development. This effect and affect can be both positive and negative.

“The students are examining the FCAT as a testing device and its impact on student growth and development. What happens when the FCAT disrupts the natural process?” asked Dr. Russell. “Will students become more flexible or rigid as a result of passing or failing the test? Will their long-term goals disappear or change if they fail? These are the kinds of questions that will be explored.”

HOW: One student, Robert Hamilton, will play the role of “Dr. Phil.” He will set up the “audience,” made up of students in the class, by using the theories of Erik Erikson. Another student, Carol Skala, will play the role of “Oprah” and will set up the “audience” using the theories of Jean Piaget. Additionally, there will be a group of students who will take the “pro” side of the FCAT issue and students who take the “con” side of the issue.   

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