You hate it or it‘s your favorite profession: gym. Dodgeball, baseball, javelin throwing, long jump, a game of football with the class… but gym in high school also means running the cooperative test. That’s a run test to see what‘s going on with your stamina. Of course, endurance is not something you learn in school. So is it really fair that you get a grade for that? We’ll talk about that with a researcher and gym teachers from all over the country.
Why do I need to know this?
Is it your first year in high school? From now on, you also deal with a fit test: a cooperative test or a beep test. Almost all high school students in our country, of all levels and of all school years, do one. Which one, how often and whether you get a point for it varies per school.
This article is mainly about the co-operative test. The test is a hot topic every year: not only among you and your classmates, but also among teachers and researchers. We talked to them.
Why does the cooperating test create discussion?
Researcher Lars Borghouts of the Fontys Sporthogeschool does a lot of research on points you get at gym in high school. He knows a lot about fitness tests in schools, like the co-operative test and the beep test. “Many schools still base their numbers on that,” he says. According to him, this causes problems:
“ Often you get a point for the distance you walk and one for your commitment. Because many teachers say: it is not fair to give a student with asthma, for example. And so they compensate for it with your commitment. But how do you judge stakes? That‘s hard. You get things like, “you don’t bake anything, but you did your best, so you get a size‘.” “Giving numbers is bad for motivation anyway. Then students ask if it’s ‘for a point’ and make their performance depend on it.” “The biggest problem I find: with such a fit test, you base yourself on what a student can already do, not on what he learns during class. It‘s like a teacher says to you, “next week you’ll have a geometry test,” when you‘ve never had any geometry.”
According to Lars, the co-operative test would help you learn what condition is. Or compare your score with others and think about it. This way you learn about health, exercise and your own fitness, and you have a test that fits the goals and goals of gym. These are, among other things, about self-knowledge and insight, and not about how fast you can walk.
What do teachers think?
Gym teacher Roel: ‘Do not give grades for the coopertest‘
Roel has been working for five years at the same high school in Tilburg: one where you do not get grades for subjects, and therefore not for the cooperating test. Roel: “Because what good is it to me if I let a student run for 12 minutes, that the student is completely broken and that I then call out that he has an insufficient one?”.
“ I don’t care about that either, because of a number. I see the co-operative test as something you can learn other things from in the run-up to the test: learn to train together, make a training schedule and, for example, coach. When I see that someone really doesn‘t get far, but has worked himself all the way into a sweat, I get into the conversation. How come that? That’s what I think most important to know, and I want the student to think about it.”
Gymnasium teacher Jasper: ‘It can be traumatic’
“ I have trouble with it,” says Jasper, gymnasium teacher in Arnhem. “I myself liked it when I was in high school: I was fit and liked getting a high grade. But now that I‘m a teacher myself, I don’t give tests like this. I want students to exercise and exercise their lives and not give negative experiences. The co-operative test is, I think. Many students get a bad point and have to drop out quickly, sit on the couch and watch other – better – students. Confronting. That‘s a traumatic experience.
Jasper has discussions with other teachers about the co-operative test. “Some of them are behind it. They think you learn to persevere and know what your limits are. I also think there are more fun ways you can learn: think of a relay or an intense game of football.” Then it’s about more than just endurance, he says. “That‘s fairer, because endurance is partly hereditary.”
Gymteacher Daan: ‘Think of it as homework‘
Daan teaches gymnasium at elementary school and high school in Amsterdam. “The beep test is a test where you continue until you go out. I don’t think you can do that to your students. You can give it a twist of your own, make it more fun. I always do. I can see what the condition of my class is. Important, because I can adapt my classes to that.”
Daan thinks the co-operative test is better thanThe beep test. “You don‘t have to break up completely. In the school where I work, you don’t get a point either: it only looks at whether you have gone forward or backward.” Unlike Jasper, Daan thinks that you have that in your hand: “If you know he‘s coming, you can train for it. Think of it as homework. I don’t know if everyone can get a 10, it might be different with gym, but as far as I‘m concerned, not only the distance you run, but also your commitment and your behavior counts.”
Gym teacher Dennis: ‘It must be an eyeopener. ‘
Dennis teaches gymnasium in The Hague. “I do such a test because I want to give students insight into the state of their condition. It has to be an eye opener: how is your condition if you compare it to the rest of the class? So I don’t value your score, I value your endurance. As a teacher, it‘s interesting to know how far a person goes. I also think it’s cool that we are encouraged, coached, helped… You see a group emerged during such a test.”
Dennis does give numbers for it. “Figures should be once. I put them side by side and reward progress. For one, that‘s nice, for the other it’s less fun. Then I say not everyone can be good at everything. I also sometimes got some imperfections for gym.”