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Home/ Diigo In Education/ Contents contributed and discussions participated by Deb White Groebner

Contents contributed and discussions participated by Deb White Groebner

Deb White Groebner

The Costs of Overemphasizing Achievement - 83 views

  • First, students tend to lose interest in whatever they’re learning. As motivation to get good grades goes up, motivation to explore ideas tends to go down. Second, students try to avoid challenging tasks whenever possible. More difficult assignments, after all, would be seen as an impediment to getting a top grade. Finally, the quality of students’ thinking is less impressive. One study after another shows that creativity and even long-term recall of facts are adversely affected by the use of traditional grades.
    • Deb White Groebner
       
      SO true!
  • Unhappily, assessment is sometimes driven by entirely different objectives--for example, to motivate students (with grades used as carrots and sticks to coerce them into working harder) or to sort students (the point being not to help everyone learn but to figure out who is better than whom)
  • Standardized tests often have the additional disadvantages of being (a) produced and scored far away from the classroom, (b) multiple choice in design (so students can’t generate answers or explain their thinking), (c) timed (so speed matters more than thoughtfulness) and (d) administered on a one-shot, high-anxiety basis.
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  • The test designers will probably toss out an item that most students manage to answer correctly.
  • the evidence suggests that five disturbing consequences are likely to accompany an obsession with standards and achievement:
  • 1. Students come to regard learning as a chore.
  • intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation tend to be inversely related: The more people are rewarded for doing something, the more they tend to lose interest in whatever they had to do to get the reward.
  • 2. Students try to avoid challenging tasks.
  • they’re just being rational. They have adapted to an environment where results, not intellectual exploration, are what count. When school systems use traditional grading systems--or, worse, when they add honor rolls and other incentives to enhance the significance of grades--they are unwittingly discouraging students from stretching themselves to see what they’re capable of doing.
  • 3. Students tend to think less deeply.
  • 4. Students may fall apart when they fail.
  • 5. Students value ability more than effort
    • Deb White Groebner
       
      This is the reinforcement of a "fixed mindset" (vs. (growth mindset) as described by Carol Dweck.
  • They seem to be fine as long as they are succeeding, but as soon as they hit a bump they may regard themselves as failures and act as though they’re helpless to do anything about it.
  • When the point isn’t to figure things out but to prove how good you are, it’s often hard to cope with being less than good.
  • It may be the systemic demand for high achievement that led him to become debilitated when he failed, even if the failure is only relative.
  • But even when better forms of assessment are used, perceptive observers realize that a student’s score is less important than why she thinks she got that score.
  • just smart
  • luck:
  • tried hard
  • task difficulty
  • It bodes well for the future
  • the punch line: When students are led to focus on how well they are performing in school, they tend to explain their performance not by how hard they tried but by how smart they are.
  • In their study of academically advanced students, for example, the more that teachers emphasized getting good grades, avoiding mistakes and keeping up with everyone else, the more the students tended to attribute poor performance to factors they thought were outside their control, such as a lack of ability.
  • When students are made to think constantly about how well they are doing, they are apt to explain the outcome in terms of who they are rather than how hard they tried.
  • And if children are encouraged to think of themselves as "smart" when they succeed, doing poorly on a subsequent task will bring down their achievement even though it doesn’t have that effect on other kids.
  • The upshot of all this is that beliefs about intelligence and about the causes of one’s own success and failure matter a lot. They often make more of a difference than how confident students are or what they’re truly capable of doing or how they did on last week’s exam. If, like the cheerleaders for tougher standards, we look only at the bottom line, only at the test scores and grades, we’ll end up overlooking the ways that students make sense of those results.
  • the problem with tests is not limited to their content.
  • if too big a deal is made about how students did, thus leading them (and their teachers) to think less about learning and more about test outcomes.
  • As Martin Maehr and Carol Midgley at the University of Michigan have concluded, "An overemphasis on assessment can actually undermine the pursuit of excellence."
  • Only now and then does it make sense for the teacher to help them attend to how successful they’ve been and how they can improve. On those occasions, the assessment can and should be done without the use of traditional grades and standardized tests. But most of the time, students should be immersed in learning.
  • the findings of the Colorado experiment make perfect sense: The more teachers are thinking about test results and "raising the bar," the less well the students actually perform--to say nothing of how their enthusiasm for learning is apt to wane.
  • The underlying problem concerns a fundamental distinction that has been at the center of some work in educational psychology for a couple of decades now. It is the difference between focusing on how well you’re doing something and focusing on what you’re doing.
  • The two orientations aren’t mutually exclusive, of course, but in practice they feel different and lead to different behaviors.
  • But when we get carried away with results, we wind up, paradoxically, with results that are less than ideal.
  • Unfortunately, common sense is in short supply today because assessment has come to dominate the whole educational process. Worse, the purposes and design of the most common forms of assessment--both within classrooms and across schools--often lead to disastrous consequences.
  • grades, which by their very nature undermine learning. The proper occasion for outrage is not that too many students are getting A’s, but that too many students have been led to believe that getting A’s is the point of going to school.
  • research indicates that the use of traditional letter or number grades is reliably associated with three consequences.
Deb White Groebner

Anatomy and Physiology-related games - 102 views

    • Deb White Groebner
       
      Outbreak - Dead link
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    Cool stuff - little quizzes, many appropriate for any biology.
Deb White Groebner

Museum Box Homepage - 95 views

shared by Deb White Groebner on 28 Mar 10 - Cached
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    Make a virtual collection of artifacts to interpret any topic, including yourself.
Deb White Groebner

Education Week: Will We Ever Learn? - 37 views

  • All students should master a verifiable set of skills, but not necessarily the same skills. Part of the reason high schools fail so many kids is that educators can’t get free of the notion that all students—regardless of their career aspirations—need the same basic preparation. States are piling on academic courses, removing the arts, and downplaying career and technical education to make way for a double portion of math. Meanwhile, career-focused programs, such as Wisconsin’s youth apprenticeships and well-designed career academies, are engaging students and raising their post-high-school earnings, especially among hard-to-reach, at-risk male students.
  • Maintaining our one-size-fits-all approach will hurt many of the kids we are trying most to help. Maybe that approach, exemplified in the push for common standards, will simply lead to yet more unmet education goals. But it won’t reduce, and might increase, the already high rate at which students drop out of school, or graduate without the skills and social behaviors required for career success.
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    Well-written commentary for anyone interested in the impact of Common Core Standards.

    "What's Wrong With the Common-Standards Project"

    "We need rigorous but basic academics, homing in on skills that will be used, and not short-shrifting the "soft skill" behaviors that lead to success in college and careers. The management guru Peter Drucker got it right: "The result of a school is a student who has learned something and puts it to work 10 years later."
Deb White Groebner

Think Green Resource Guide | Edutopia - 28 views

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    Free resource designed to "help you plan green projects that take student learning deeper."
Deb White Groebner

Discover Life - 36 views

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    Check out the ID Nature Guides and Albums. Great tools for biology folks and naturalists.
Deb White Groebner

Pollinator Live - 51 views

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    Exciting resources for teaching about the important roles that pollinators (including bees) play in ecosystems and economics.
Deb White Groebner

KidWings Virtual Owl Pellet Dissection - 31 views

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    Virtual dissection of owl pellets. Good practice for doing the real thing!
Deb White Groebner

Education Week: Does NCLB Promote Monolingualism? - 5 views

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    By requiring all students to demonstrate what they have "learned" in multiple subject areas through standardized tests written in English, and by reducing resources for helping students become multilingual, the U.S. continues to build a wall between our nation and the global community.
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    For our children's sake, we can't keep promoting the illusion that Americans are so superior to the rest of the world that we can or should insist that our way (language, culture, politics) is the best or only way. Within the context of our current standardized testing culture, common standards reinforce the fallacy that all children *should* learn (and are able to learn) the same things - and to the same level of performance - at a particular age.
Deb White Groebner

Education Week: Draft Common Standards Elicit Kudos and Criticism - 11 views

    • Deb White Groebner
       
      How are "higher expectations" defined and measured? That's right - standardized tests. Despite the rhetoric about diverse "curriculum opportunities," success/performance is still measured by "matching exams."
  • higher expectations
  • Teacher Input Requested
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  • good technical writing
Deb White Groebner

Welcome to Project BudBurst - 41 views

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    Great opportunity for students to contribute to US climate records by tracking phenology of local plant species. Lots of helpful resources for teachers at all grade levels, and appropriate for many areas (not just science). Show students how they can quite easily participate in real, meaningful research that encourages them to care for and observe the environment!
Deb White Groebner

Twapper Keeper Archive - #60in60 - 60 Open Source Software programs in 60 Minutes - con... - 121 views

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    Check out this list of recommended open source software programs for educators (Steve Hargadon / CUE 2010).
Deb White Groebner

For the Love of Learning: Pink, Godin, Kohn and asymptotes - 56 views

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    Value of reaching for unattainable "mastery" vs. dead-end scores: Fueling meaningful learning over fabricated performance.
Deb White Groebner

New Jersey Middle School Students Chart Academic Paths - NYTimes.com - 42 views

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    Personalized learning plans and electronic portfolios are being implemented to help students take ownership of their own education. Could this student "self-advocacy" be an essential component of teachers' attempts to differentiate instruction? Absolutely! Consistently applied, personalized learning plans would seem to be a natural means of maintaining student engagement and motivation. Opportunity and choice seem to be keywords here - as one student said, "it just shows you the opportunities you can have if one doesn't work out."
Deb White Groebner

Physics Animations - 128 views

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    Nice collection of physics animations.
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    Nice collection of physics animations.
Deb White Groebner

The Physics Front - 81 views

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    Excellent physics resources for teachers - including elementary and middle school!
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    Excellent physics resources for teachers - including elementary and middle school!
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