Monday, August 23, 2010

turning kids into data.

One of the books I've been reading is Lanier's You are Not a Gadget, and there is an article on Education Week from Alfie Kohn, on Turning Children Into Data:
A Skeptic's Guide to Assessment Programs
, which is kind of on the same subject. Education corporations are very busy selling underfunded schools, proposed miracle cures for raising test scores and increasing school performance. Smoke and mirrors is the game and the destruction of children's enthusiasm for learning, the consequence, along with ruination of the teaching profession.

In other words, Alfie Kohn suggests that we not be fooled, and that testing and the multiple near-nefarious proposals to raise test scores are not the matters that should concern us.
"Distilling a large body of research, psychologists Martin Maehr and the late Carol Midgley reminded us that “an overemphasis on assessment can actually undermine the pursuit of excellence.” That’s true even with reasonably good assessments, let alone with those that are standardized. The more that students are led to focus on how well they’re doing, the less engaged they tend to become with what they’re doing. Instead of stuff they want to figure out, the curriculum just becomes stuff at which they’re required to get better. A school that’s all about achievement and performance is a school that’s not really about discovery and understanding."
To read this article will require that you register, but you can register for free. As you can see in the photo above, I continue to make some progress on my small tie cabinets. I used biscuits to join the corners, and will assemble the veneers for the front and back and laminate them to Baltic birch.

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