What if…? Part two.

This is second half of  the #Educon inspired What if?  conversations recording the jotted notes of  faculty and staff sharing and learning from last Friday. The first question and our responses are here.

The second question was:

2). What if students were able to choose what demonstrations of
learning they shared with the public and/or their parents?

And the responses:

  • Own choice leads to confidence
  • Greater ownership
  • Different perspectives
  • Better ability to reflect on their own work and what they value
  • Ability to articulate about themselves as learners
  • Teaching design, digital creativity
  • Building an understanding of balance
  • Building a skill for giving feedback –>need feedback from teachers, parents, peers…
  • Inspiration to create/share based on peers’ sharing
  • Parents would understand our program in more detail
  • They would be practicing metacognitive discernment
  • Create more reflective students
  • Become famous as a school
  • Students would be able to revisit & continue to work from from year to year
  • Teachers would be familiar with their students before meeting them
  • Students would make evolving cognitive connections
  • “Whole-child”
  • Teachers can see student progress throughout the year
  • Video/Talk/CD
  • Show progress
    • Visual
    • Monitoring
    • Reporting
  • Own their own learning
  • Might be more self-reflective
  • Might be more “accountable” to others – (is this a good thing?)
  • Not all learning can be captured as a tangible thing and “demonstrated as a product
  • Might help to show a process/progress

That’s a pretty exciting, extensive and very thought-provoking list.  It’s thrilling to be in the company of educators so willing and able to take on the task of speculation and forward imagining.

Amazing how even such a short exercise can provoke such sharing and depth. Great stuff and an exercise that – speaking for myself – I would have been happy to continue for the rest of the day and beyond.

I’m intrigued by the comment “Become famous as a school”. Fact is that while all this sounds easy to do and very much the right thing it is not so easy in practice. Being famous is not much of an end in itself but schools that hew to a mission grounded in doing the now and next right things deserve to be known and celebrated.

It would mean some radical changes in how we collectively think about assessment and what matters.

It would mean trusting the learner in a time of heightened anxiety about accountability, core curriculum, testing and standards.

It would mean embarking on a deliberate pathway and process to arrive at that destination involving not just faculty and parents but colleges and colleagues. It would mean staring down a pride of naysayers.

And most of all it would take conversation and effort and research and experimentation and exploration.

It would, in fact, mean being bold.

Will Richardson has been on a search for “bold schools” and exploring the idea of what bold schools should be and could be.

But that is fodder for another post.  Anon.



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