Thursday, April 16, 2015

observing teaching on track...

I continue to be interested in developing a Beaufort like scale for measuring learning and engagement that would offer a foundation for observation that would not be dependent on standardized test scores. for instance, over the years, we've had visitors from various educational institutions, including the U of A, and from other ISACS schools as part of our accreditation process.

These visitors come on campus and witness the engagement of our students in learning, and do not need standardized test scores to know that learning is on track, and that our students are developing what they need to become successful citizens.

I realize the wind is far less complex than a child's education, and that a Beaufort like scale, from one to ten charting educational endeavors might seem like an overly simplistic approach. But standardized testing is an overly complex one that takes the monitoring of school success out of the hands of parents and teachers and places it in the hands of experts outside the classroom, and completely disconnected from the home environment. It is also disruptive of learning and fails as a clear indicator of future success. It measures the acquisition of knowledge while ignoring the character of the child.

So to have an observable standard, as easy to monitor as watching the wind on a sail would be a clear step forward in American education.

First of all, I ask, when an educational professional walks into a classroom what does he or she expect to find? I take my ideal from the movement of a sailing ship across the sea. What is its rate? And what are the factors that slow the ship? Or put it at risk? If parents were equipped with their own non standardized measure of their student's success they would have a much better grip on their children's education.

You can help me with this if you like. Use the comments function below.

In an ideal school, the students and teachers are actively engaged in learning. A sailing ship will not move forward in a state of complete calm, in which both the students and teachers are passive. That state of imperfect calm would be number one on the Beaufort scale. What comes next? You can help.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a concept. I must have observed 100s of lessons in primary schools in the UK, and trying to unpick why are some are more successful than others, and how I judged that success can sometimes appear more like an art, with similar scenarios leading to differing levels of success for the student depending on the class, timing, ... the list can be endless.
    I wish you well, perhaps we could shares a few suggestions to get you started,