As I get older I see more grey. Ya, ya, ya … the hair jokes .. I get it. Nice!
What I’m talking about are my observations that we don’t live in a binary world of ‘Yes or No’ , ‘Black or White’. We just don’t typically live in “All or Nothing” scenarios. Our world is a series of sliding position points along a continuum. It isn’t static, measured once and labeled. It is a complex, multi-dimensional, constantly evolving space.
Need proof? OK. Some examples that are right off the top of my head include:
Practice MAY make perfect
- Physical aptitude in sports
- Cooking prowess
- Home repair abilities
- Computer use
- Essay writing
The point being, we have some ability or knowledge in lots of areas — some are just more developed than others. And in many cases increased practice results in improvement.
So our world is a patchwork of grey! Different shades of ‘greyness’ which indicate our varying abilities.
Here’s to all of our Teachers and Administrators! Friday October 5th is the day we officially celebrate you and all that you give to our students and their families.
If you happen to Google ‘teacher qualities’ you get a list that kinda looks like this:
Wait a minute! Teaching less is a good thing?
Let’s be careful in what is actually being said here. Teaching is an EXCELLENT thing to do. If we didn’t teach adequately our students would not learn sufficiently. But, what Grant Wiggins is trying to stress is that FEEDBACK is one of the strongest correlates to student success. And not just a letter grade or percentage, but critical feedback that helps the student learn from their mistakes so that they can focus on personal improvement.
Nobody gets better by just seeing a ‘B’ on their paper, lab report or report card. What makes us improve our learning is the opportunity to understand what we didn’t fully succeed at, be given an opportunity to refine our learning and perhaps demonstrate our mastery of the topic again.
I remember sitting in a meeting where we were talking about feedback, student mastery of material and grading. The speaker asked us to step out from our ‘classroom comfort zone’ and think about … parachute packing.
OK. Why not?