13 Comments

  1. gwegner

    I think that it is tempting to look at the work of outlier students and hypothesize that if only schools could do this or that, then all of our students could be capable of the same levels of brilliance. Whether these examples happened in spite of schools or not overlooks the vast majority of students whose needs for literacy and numeracy skills to navigate the world depend on the education system as it currently exists. Can we do a better job? Absolutely. But it can be easy to overlook that all students can effect change and make the most of their talents using skills and knowledge acquired at school – and not everything has to be in a highly noticeable, public way.
    Just a thought – I hope that this comment doesn't come across as being negative, but it is offered in the spirit of pushing thinking rather than just uncritical unthinking agreement.
    Cheers from South Australia.

  2. gwegner

    I really like that quote from Yong Zhao and understand the main point of your blog post a bit better now. Today, I was involved in a half day Professional Learning Community focussed around assessment and the conversation swung around to the fact that using Learning Intentions and Success Criteria were reasonably recent developments in teaching. It struck me that the reason that teachers haven't really engaged with the concept of Assessment of Learning before the last ten years or so and the opening up of practices of student created assessment was because school was primarily designed as a vehicle to train future workers in the art of unquestioningly following directions from a boss. (I also believe that homework was designed to get kids used to the idea that you bring your work home with you – and teachers are masters at that!) That isn't the case any more and you are right, students who find that school does not allow them a creative outlet or does not even explain the basic purpose behind the learning on offer will use the affordances of new technology to go ahead and achieve (as you said) in spite of school.

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