Konrad Glogowski has a post up titled “Grading Conversations” where he writes:
I think that student bloggers should be recognized for writing as part of a larger community of inquirers. Some of my most successful writers are those who are aware of what their friends are writing about and who participate in conversations with other bloggers in their class. This is an important part of knowledge- and community-building, especially when (as in my class) students investigate and write about related ideas. When the whole class is engaged in investigating human rights, for example, the interactions that occur among bloggers can have a strong impact on individual writers and the communal sense of knowledge-building. Students quickly become aware that they are all co-constructing knowledge and begin to spend a lot of time commenting on other blogs and other entries. When I mark their contributions, a part of their grade is given for showing that they are an integral part of the blogosphere and not just an isolated writer.
I just think that is so good, and so different from the ways in which most teachers approach assessment. I mean many of us give grades for something called “class participation,” but that is much, much different from “knowledge construction participation.” We’re saying to our students that while it’s important for them to share their ideas with the rest of us, it’s equally (if not more) important to be willing to contribute and test those ideas in the context of the class community. That they need to stop giving “answers” (which suggest the discussion is over) and start contributing insights and experiences and questions (which suggests the discussion continues.)
We need to stop thinking in terms of assessing answers and start thinking about how we assess the contributions our students make to the conversations about learning that are happening in our classrooms. It’s not going to be an easy shift, because it’s much less concrete compared to what the system now calls for. But it’s great to see that teachers are starting to move in that direction, and that they’re willing to enter the conversation for themselves.
Steve Lazar says
here here. I give my students a “participation” grade for each quarter, which is primarily based on a self-reflection they write in class. The main question they answer is, “How did you contribute to the learning of others in the class?”
Why assess at all?
A question very few teachers dare asking, and I don’t blame them. because in todays scooling, distrust reigns.
There is no confidence that children or students can be intrinsically motivated to learn new things.
Give children confidence and freedom and they will become passionate learners.
There is another logic: the logic of trust.
And it works! for over 35 years, sudbury valley school has been working as a democratic school.
-democratic: equal vote for everyone
-no age groups
-freedom of thinking
check it out at http://www.sudval.org!
keep up the blogging!