When I was a new teacher, I remember looking at my roll sheet and seeing multiple letters after several students' names. I asked colleagues what the abbreviations stood for and soon learned that the common perspective was that they stood for more work and more trouble.
This is the second part of a two-part blog entry. Read part one.
In his article cited in part one of this blog entry, Tony Wagner describes visiting some of most highly regarded suburban schools and "interviewing leaders in settings from Apple to Unilever to the U.S. Army and reviewing research on workplace skills." In response to his findings, he calls for students to master seven skills to be successful in the twenty-first century.
This is the third part of a three-part entry. Read part one.
As a professional-development incentive, teachers who participate in the eighty hours of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) institutes aligned to the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards will receive a letter of completion. To receive the letter, teachers will have to submit for review an e-portfolio with their STEM projects.
From an Edutopia reader comes this question: "With so many of today's schools focused on state achievement tests, many teachers are 'teaching to the test.' However, this does not adequately prepare students for life outside of school. Does anyone have any suggestions for the alternate assessment that this article was describing? I am looking for some way to increase student learning while maintaining state standards at the same time."
Every once in a while, a contrarian appears and challenges some of our basic assumptions about schooling in today's society. One of the biggest assumptions we have is that it is the job of school to prepare all our students for college.
The bowling analogy in my previous post is an illustration of the misunderstanding about the true purpose of formative assessments. Assessment provides needed information for the teacher to adjust instructional activities, but that is a by-product of the real reason for doing it. True formative assessment engages students and puts them in charge of their own learning, much as a bowler is in charge of how she bowls.