Looking Through the Opening of “The Pandemic Effect”

Take a deep breath.

No … sorry, not you … I’m actually talking to me. It’s been quite the year. But, if you also need to take one … please, be my guest.

Deep Breathing

I have to admit that I’m feeling pretty worn out right about now — there’s not a whole lot left in the gas tank. All of the change that’s happened this year — it’s been really tiring. As much as I believe in change — and I do — this has been one heckuva year!

I Forget Stuff – I Must Be Brilliant

Do you ever stand up to go somewhere, walk over and then wonder why you’re there? Happens to me all the time — wait, that doesn’t sound very reassuring. It happens to me some times.

My solution?

Often walking back to where I came from to trigger the thought that made me leave in the first place.

Doesn’t really leave one with a strong feeling of confidence in my abilities now, does it?

But, if you’re being honest with yourself I bet it happens to you as well.

What is it about our memory that makes some stuff ‘stick’ and other stuff appear to vanish? Looking back to my 20s I can still recall studying for university exams … reading a section of a text book … then reading it again … and again … all to no avail. That page of information just wasn’t going to stay in my head.

But why?

The Average Student Doesn’t Exist

Temperatures Around the World – A Good Use of Average

Comparing average temperatures from around the world is useful if you want to compare this single attribute. It works because you are comparing a single entity across a large sample size.

The Average Student is a Myth

However, if you want to compare a particular student’s achievement against an average student, this is NOT very useful. Most importantly because of the complexity that makes up success. And because of this complexity, I argue that there really is no ‘average student’. Take a look at the chart to the right as an example. Comparing a single measure like knowledge or reading doesn’t take into account the entire learning profile. Each student is unique — each one with strengths and challenges.

The complex world of learning can’t be quantified by a simple average. There are think-tanks and critics who are quick to jump to a single measure to find a story that says we’re not succeeding or using a measure to compare one school against another. They use singular events like a one time FSA score or a provincial exam grade to compare students or schools against each other to make an argument about our educational demise.

Averages just don’t work that way.