As you know, Finals are this week. Notice we didn't say "Final exams". There's a reason for that...
Teachers have the freedom to use finals time as they see fit to meet the needs of students. It may be a final project, presentation, lesson, activity...it does not necessarily have to be an exam. The expectation of teachers is what it always is, which is the time is to be used effectively.
Education has evolved and given an emphasis on using a variety of forms of assessment, the notion that a final has to be an exam is outdated. Also, with consistent checking for understanding, the need for high stakes tests aren't as necessary as they may have been in the past. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding over 90 days each semester.
One counter to this is that it doesn't prepare students for college. However, more college courses are moving away from heavily weighted final exams. Additionally, colleges don't have the consistent checking for understanding methods that high school employs.
We have also found that high stakes exams can have an impact on our students due to the heightened anxiety they bring.
Finally (no pun intended), with the freedom teachers have, they also still have the freedom to give a final exam. The decision is ultimately up to the individual teacher.
So whatever form your final takes, do your best, good luck and remember...it's all done next Tuesday!
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