Date: Mar 4, 2013 8:59 PM
Author: Anna Roys
Subject: Re: Why schools used to be better

Hi all,

As a teacher, I find myself wanting to constantly assess, check for
understanding on the fly, as I go; I find it very valuable, as this can
inform me on where re-teaching may be needed. My educational philosophy is
for mastery of content, not just a lot of content coverage at superficial
levels. Informal assessments are great, however, there are times I think
the summative assessments may not reflect true pictures of student
abilities and achievement levels. Notice I do not see abilities as
achievement levels. To me the ability is the ability to learn, the purpose
of life, which all humans are born with and may be developed, whereas,
achievement levels are what we see on the summative test scores.

Anna


On Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 8:06 AM, Joe Niederberger
<niederberger@comcast.net>wrote:

> >I personally believe that the 'quantitative techniques' (and
> tools/processes) are not really relevant or appropriate to apply to human
> beings and their problem-solving or learning processes.
>
> I'm sympathetic to your view, but I think some amount of monitoring is
> essential to ascertain that kids are being given what amounts to something
> like standardized treatment, i.e., they are getting what we pay for. (Now,
> choice of what treatment is desired is another matter, but you could hardly
> argue for choice if you don't know what is being offered is the first
> place.) Another type of monitoring is needed to determine, if, Johnny, can,
> in fact read.
>
> The article paints a picture though of monitoring and data collection in
> clearly excessive amounts. So, digging deeper, I would want to know can all
> that data gathering even be rationalized as supporting one of the above two
> goals. If not, I would be immediately suspect of its necessity.
>
> For the remaining data collection, I would ask whether
> at what point it becomes so intrusive as to be absolutely
> counter-productive. If one is in the hospital, blood is drawn for testing
> and monitoring. But if its drawn every half hour, it may start to
> counteract your healing.
>
> So, where I agree with you, is that in situations like education that have
> been traditionally been based on close relationships (though that now is
> slipping away)
> injecting a lot of data gathering can interact negatively with what is
> going on. Another way of viewing the original article's claim that in the
> past, the system was "loose". I think another way of saying that is that it
> was based on trust. The more intrusive the monitoring, the more trust
> leaves the scene, with negative consequences.
>
> Cheers,
> Joe N
>