8 Comments

  1. George, you’re absolutely spot on with this post. I’ve had similar conversations with colleagues of mine; that often times, we are focused on “fixing” kids. My favorite part of this post is your phrase, “Grades are not an indicator of intelligence; they are an indicator of ability in certain areas that someone else deems important.” Intelligence and abilities are two different things.

  2. Judy

    I studied with my grandson for his third grade social studies test on chapter 3 about West Africa. I found videos showing the deltas, the natural resources. We engaged in conversation on how and why people went from staying home growing their own food, to getting jobs and shopping for food. He sadly got a 19 on the test. When I told his teacher how we studied she shrugged her shoulders and looked me in the eye and said, “and it was an open book test.” I felt like she was saying there’s no hope for him! My daughter approached it differently when it came time to study for the next social studies test. She opened the text and showed him how to match the words from the test’s word bank with the bold paint words in chapter and then just match the sentences around the bold word to the choices on the test. He got 100. He didn’t learn either time, he just learned to take a test. 🙁

  3. Clare Hoops

    I just watched the film about Temple Grandin’s struggle to be recognised as ‘not needing to be fixed’. Her TED talk about autism and ‘different minds’ supports this idea: that we need to find what works for each learner, not try to fit them into our narrow view of what ‘clever’ is. As she says: she is scared that the real geniuses out there will be written off and discouraged becuuse they don’t ‘fit’….and then who will solve the world’s problems in the future?

  4. Carolin Mattice

    I agree that we do need to focus on the learner in our schools. I feel that more focus on your learner and who they are can help excellerate successes in a blended classroom. Technology is a powerful tool that can assist with such successes. I have seen my learners mindset shift when I begin to understand what it is they want and need when trying to succeed. For example most recently in my professional practices I developed an inquiry unit that allowed students to pick their own personal way to demonstrate their learning which included the use of technology. As the students worked and they began to find flow in their creativity and designs the final results were positive and successful. After we reflected as a
    class what went well with this process the students mentioned how it was
    good that I allowed them to be creative and allow them to be who they are. I also had my students talking and planning on what they had in mind for the next class project. Focusing on the learner allows for success and can begin to create a positive mindset.

  5. I struggled with this and our state testing. I wanted them to do well but more I wanted them to have valuable learning throughout the year so I guess I just kind of said to myself that if they do well that’s like the icing on the cake but if I feel like I did them well and that’s what my purpose was… it was hard to try to find the balance between test scores and meaningful learning especially with the pressure of your school district .

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