Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Instruction and Curriculum: Elementary Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Ellen L. Schiller

Academic Year



Research has revealed important information about the effects of testing on student motivation, mental well-being, and academic performance. These effects are mostly negative, yet most schools throughout the country have not adopted alternative education models to reflect this information. This project explores the recent history of educational testing as holistic theories of education and associated alternative pedagogies that can be used to address the problems created by testing. An effective assessment model must be recurring and longitudinal in nature, collaborative between students, parents, teachers, and outside stakeholders, and be able to account for the differing needs, environments, backgrounds, and interests of students. Principles of holistic education and holistic assessments can accommodate all these necessities as well as address the negative effects of testing on student well-being and academic performance. Additionally, they will serve to more effectively assess student’s abilities and boost student motivation for learning.