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Meghan Cureton

NAIS - One School's Approach to Equitable Grading - 1 views

  • a student’s grade could be more reflective of the teacher’s approach to grading than the student’s academic performance.
  • because many of the teachers’ grading practices rewarded or punished students for every assignment, activity, and behavior in the classroom, students often were less willing to take risks and make mistakes, and cared less about learning
  • But Previna didn’t blame the teachers. After all, none of them—herself included—had ever received any training or support with how to grade
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  • She started by sharing a few articles about the weaknesses of common grading practices with the entire middle school faculty
  • Then she invited all faculty to research, examine, and imagine ways to align grading to their vision for progressive and equitable education
  • first learned how many common grading practices were created during the Industrial Revolution and are based on century-old beliefs about teaching, learning, and human potential that have long since been debunked. By continuing to use these practices, we contradict our current understanding about effective teaching and learning
  • After studying the research about grading and learning about research-supported grading practices that are more accurate, more bias-resistant, and develop intrinsic motivation in students, the pilot group of middle school faculty members was excited to start using them. These more equitable practices included using alternatives to the 0–100 scale, not including behavior in the grade, ending extra credit, using rubrics, and developing a culture of retakes and redos
  • Students were less stressed, and classroom environments felt more relaxed and supportive of learning.
  • Grade inflation decreased
  • Grades are more accurate and less biased
  • Students’ motivation increased
  • Changes to grading practices leverage other aspects of programmatic reimagining
T.J. Edwards

What IS the difference between competencies and standards? | reDesign - 2 views

  • Competencies, on the other hand, tend to emphasize the application of skills, knowledge and dispositions rather than content knowledge.
  • Competency-based models approach content as the backdrop, while putting essential skills and dispositions front and center. In this way, content serves as the context for practicing and demonstrating “transferable” competencies that can be applied in different contexts.
  • In competency-based models, the entire system must change. Students advance upon mastery  when they are ready, not when an arbitrary academic calendar suggests that they should be.
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  • Optimally, competencies are broad enough that student pathways and demonstrations of proficiency can be vastly different, organized to encourage and nurture student passions and questions.
  • Competencies sit above standards in terms of grain size.
  • competencies tend to encompass an interrelated set of skills, knowledge, aptitudes, and/or capacities.
  • competencies are often constructed as groupings of related skills or attributes that are purposefully designed to be explicit, measurable, transferable, and empowering to students
  • Competencies define skills that are practiced and developed continuously. They are not “one and done,” like many standards, which are course-based and attached to specific grade levels or bands.
  • in truly competency-based systems, PLDs are not attached to specific grade levels
  • we believe strongly that we must guard against tying PLDs to age-based grades or cohorts.
  • PLDs are guideposts to mastery
  • When learning outcomes are defined in terms of the application of skills or the synthesis and creation of new knowledge, we’re then talking about a much more sophisticated assessment type
  • competence is about successful application of skills and knowledge to achieve a particular purpose, not simply to show basic levels of understanding
  • In a true competency-based system, students can’t fail. Instead, students receive concrete and specific feedback on their work, and are provided with opportunities for additional practice and support in order to develop and demonstrate growth in their competencies.
  • Mastery-based grading and promotion policies are radically different in competency-based systems because promotion is based on mastery of specific skills, not on completion of courses made up of arbitrary and highly varied bundles of content, skills, and concepts.
  • As competency-based education gains ground in formal K-12 schooling, there is a very real chance that the movement could lose the “spirit” of its intent and become yet another, albeit more refined, form of standards-based learning
  • In competency-based models, performance level descriptors (PLDs) clarify the developmental journey from novice-to-expert or to "mastery."
  • Quite differently, competency-based models reach back centuries, with early apprenticeship learning that created pathways for mastery and gainful employment. Think: Medieval craft guilds, masonry, baking, carpentry, shoemaking.
Meghan Cureton

transforming_teaching_learning_and_assessment.pdf - 1 views

  • T o make space for learner voice and to promote learner agency, teachers must set up learning environments that stimulate active learner engagement with meaningful and progressively challenging tasks that stimulate their thinking and enable them to develop competence over time. Unlike subject content, competence cannot be transmitted to learners. Rather, competence is progressively developed by learners through appropriate facilitation.
  • Table 1. The Role of Learners in Competence-Based Curricula
  • A “growth mindset” (Dweck, 2006). essential for developing intrinsic motivation.
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  • Deep learning
  • The extent of emotional, cognitive, and behavioral engagement influences the effectiveness of learning, and thus, the development of competence.
  • These modes of learning blur boundaries between teachers and learners, as learners progressively take responsibility for their own learning.
  • Success also rests on profound teacher understanding of curricula that should accrue during curriculum design and development stages. Such understanding is crucial for the teachers’ buy-in, conviction, ownership, and commitment to effective curricula implementation.
  • Within the curriculum continuum, assessment has significant potential to support and reinforce curriculum reform. However, it equally has enormous potential to distort the official/intended curriculum.
  • When appropriate strategies are used in assessment, they can support the implementation of the official curriculum, enhance learning, and lead to an enrichment effect. However, gaining these benefits of appropriate assessment demands a specialized knowledge of assessment by all concerned.
  • Another critical policy message is that competence-based assessment and examinations systems require significant investment in the professionalization of teachers as assessors of learning. Competence-based assessments also require trust in teachers’ ability to make reliable judgements and to utilize assessment as an inherent and important part of teaching and learning.
  • A key policy message is that education and learning systems cannot succeed at adopting competence-based approaches to curriculum without similarly transforming teaching, learning, as well as assessment and examination systems. All the three elements must be aligned. Transforming curricula to competence-based approaches and leaving teaching, learning, assessment, tests, and examinations subject-based is tantamount to not transforming curricula.
  • In competence-based approaches, teachers are not just co-designers and co-developers of curricula. They are also pivotal co-assessors, co-testers, and co-examiners.
  • Most importantly, competence-based curricula must lead quality assessment rather than be led by poor practice assessments, tests, and examinations.
  • What "developmental progression" means, in general terms, and an understanding that progressing is neither linear nor necessarily agerelated. Rather, it is iterative, interactive, and dependent on making connections to prior learning and to context;
  • it is best to base judgements on a number of different criterion referenced assessments.
  • Effective teacher professional development must include all 4 componen ts: • Knowledge – worthwhile research-informed theory, content, and expertise; • Integrated pedagogical and assessment skills and strategies; • Modelling, demonstrating, and engaging with approaches, ideally in settings that approximate to the workplace; • Practicing the approaches frequently over a substantial period of time between professional inputs; (2–6 months a minimum) with ongoing and follow up evaluation of impact and refinement; • Concurrent dialogue/coaching/peer collaboration in activities such as lesson planning, preparing related resources, peer observation, discussion, and reflection on impact
  • Table 4. Success of different methods of professional development Training Components Outcomes % of participants who demonstrate Kno wledge % of participants who demonstrate new Skills % of participants who transfer into Classroom Practice Theoretical Knowledge and Discussion 10%5%0% Demonstration in Training 30%20%0% Practice and Feedback in Training 60%60%5% Coaching in Classroom Settings 95%95%95%
  • Teaching still lacks core characteristics that define a profession, vis: (i) a profession-specific, systematized, scientific body of knowledge that informs the daily activities of practitioners; (ii) a lengthy period of higher education training and induction; (iii) engagement in continuous professional development; and (iv) autonomy to exercise professional judgement and decision-making in practice and in governance over the profession
Meghan Cureton

Reasons to Stop Using Rewards and Punishments in the Classroom - 1 views

  • How can we ask our students to take charge of their learning and think for themselves when we are using carrots and sticks to control their behavior?
Meghan Cureton

Stop Teaching Classes And Start Teaching Children - 0 views

  • Too often bits and pieces are tacked onto curriculum as yet another perfectly-reasonable-sounding-thing to teach.
  • There is nothing wrong with changes in priority. In fact, this is a signal of awareness and reflection and vitality. But when education—as it tends to do—continues to take a content and skills-focused view of what to teach rather than how students learn, it’s always going to be a maddening game of what gets added in, and what gets taken out, with the loudest or most emotionally compelling voices usually winning.
  • Skills are things students can “do”—procedural knowledge that yields the ability to do something. This could be revising an essay, solving a math problem, or decoding words to read. Content can be thought of as a second kind of knowledge—a declarative knowledge that often makes up the face of a content area. In math, this might be the formula to calculate the area of a circle. In composition, it could be a writing strategy to form sound and compelling paragraphs. In history, it may refer to the geographic advantages of one country in a conflict versus another. Should schools focus on content and skills, or should they focus on habits and thinking?
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  • So then, hundreds of standards. Hundreds! This places extraordinary pressure on educators—those who develop standards, those who create curriculum from those standards, those who create lessons from that curriculum, and on and on—to make numerous—and critical—adjustments to curriculum, assessment, and instruction on the fly.
  • Why not try a different approach–one that not only decenters curriculum, but reimagines it completely?
  • Building A Curriculum Based On People
  • n the past, we’ve sought to add-to and revise. Add these classes and drop these. This isn’t as important as this. To make knowledge an index that reflects the latest thinking that reflects our most recent insecurities and collective misunderstandings. This doesn’t seem like the smartest path to sustainable innovation in learning.
  • Give me a curriculum based on people–based on their habits and thinking patterns in their native places. One that helps them see the utility of knowledge and the patterns of familial and social action. One that helps them ask, “What’s worth knowing, and what should I do with what I know?” Then let’s work backwards from that.
Meghan Cureton

Why Isn't Science Class More Like Learning to Play Baseball? | MindShift | KQED News - 0 views

  •  
    Must read
Jim Tiffin Jr

'Maker' movement inspires hands-on learning | The Seattle Times - 0 views

  • Tinkering is being promoted on college campuses from MIT to Santa Clara University, as well as in high schools and elementary schools.
  • The blending of technology and craft in tools like 3-D printers and laser cutters has made it possible for ordinary people to make extraordinary things. And many ordinary people, living as they do, more and more in their heads and online, are yearning to do something with their hands.
  • Constructionist Approach
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      This is the term that we are missing in our current MDE nomenclature!
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  • Yes, tinkering is now a pedagogy.
  • “You’re exploring creativity, you’re exploring design thinking, you’re developing a sense of persistence,” she says. Building something new requires planning, trying and, yes, failing, and then trying again. “These are incredibly important mind-set for today’s world,” she says.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Music to my ears!
  • talks excitedly about students who have designed child prostheses. “That’s what they’re going to remember their entire life,” she says. “They aren’t going to remember sitting in an electronics lecture.”
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      It is about creating experiences that help students see the world as a malleable place.
  • Alexandra Garey, who graduated from Rutgers last year, credits tinkering with changing the course of her studies, and life: “I went from somebody who was majoring in Italian and European studies to someone who was designing and prototyping products and realizing any product that came into my head.”
  • “U.S. schools are very good at finding the brain-smart people,” he says. “They are also very good at finding the best athletes.” But they are not so good at finding and nurturing people who, he said, describing himself, think with their fingers.
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    A fabulous article full of stories about the impact of maker-centered learning experiences, and the growing number of places that provide them - elementary schools, high school, colleges, public. Perhaps most gratifying is the use of distinctly maker-centered AND educational terminology in the same article. A great sign of things to come!
Meghan Cureton

Empowering Teachers to Empower Young People - A New Game - Medium - 2 views

  • A person who becomes self-empowered in this way uses her inner powers (her innate capacities) again and again to solve problems — to create opportunities — and to empower others.
  • Being self-empowered — changemaking — requires a sophisticated understanding of the world — an understanding that your wellbeing is inextricably entwined with everyone’s wellbeing. And it means taking responsibility — taking the lead — and collaborating with others to make life better for yourself and family and friends and community and humanity and the planet.
  • Being self-empowered is a way of being. It involves being empathic, thoughtful and creative — being curious, resilient and effective. Becoming self-empowered, then, is a process of finding, using and developing a complex array of changemaking powers.
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  • And for most, the experience of school reflects limited conceptions of the human mind, the human being and human potential.
  • it reinforces compliance and outdated hierarchical power structures.
  • To make these changes, we need pioneering teachers and educators to come together as change leaders — to form collaborative teams — and to execute strategically-focused projects. And to lay the foundations upon which these strategic projects can have massive impact, we need to build a global community of education professionals who are fully committed to self-empowering educators — for self-empowering young people.
Bo Adams

Stop telling us it's not about the points | thebloggerina - 1 views

  • If I focused on just learning all of the material instead of playing for points, I would fail.
  • If I learn now, I’m denied a bright future of learning later.
  • Even though I have good grades, my academic confidence is very low.
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  • As far as I know, the people judging our transcript will always win.
  • Instead, I would introduce a system of portfolios to let schools judge your real work and see you as a person, not as an average of numbers and letters.
  • If I had to put a date on when points became my main priority, I would say it was my first day of high school.
  • You could be wondering “Why doesn’t she want to focus on simply learning?” My answer is very easy. No one has time for that. Just as my day is split into 7 periods, so is my time after school. There is only so much I can do and only so much that I can handle.
  • If I learn now, I’m denied a bright future of learning later.
  • When I hear the frustration of my teachers about the desperation students have for points, I feel two things: guilt and a longing to be able to say that I don’t live on points and I fully submerge myself in my subjects. But that possibility seems untouchable, a million miles away.
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    #stuvoice
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    HT @MeghanCureton
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