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Lisab said in January 12th, 2007 at 6:06 pm

Can I give a wholeheartedly AMEN! Ironic that I just read this–I just got off the phone with my niece, who is a parapro in the state of Georgia. I, for one DO want to engage students in engaging cooperative work for my students. Of course, as a relatively new teacher (just second year here) There are still many things to learn about the ‘ropes of the place’, and of the politics involved in the teaching profession. I’ll be the first to admit, that I want to help every student, but sadly, I feel as if I’m cooerced into helping the bubble children. The administration that is in our school feels that way, as well. They don’t like it any more than the teachers. So, how do we change this?
On one hand, I can see the point of assessment. Years ago, we were having jocks who could throw a football a half a field’s length, but they couldn’t read or write. This was the ‘norm’ at an alarming trend. Teachers needed to be held accountable. I agree. Students need to be held accountable. I agree. However, how do we do this, and not box our students in a certain range? Gardner’s learning differences come to mind. But, to create engagine work, we need what we don’t have: time and money. I was mentally doing a run through of my schedule so far, and I do just as much, if not more–assessment paperwork (grading, reporting, analyzing, submitting, etc) as I do on preparing engaging lessons. How do we balance it? What’s the magic answer?
Good thoughts, Helen,
thanks for sharing them :)
Lisa

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Wesley Fryer said in January 17th, 2007 at 3:45 pm

So in political terms, what types of educational policies could the federal and state governments enact which would allow teachers to have the TIME they need, and also place emphasis on engagement rather than summative assessment? This is a million dollar question, I think, and I don’t know the answer. My instinct is that we need to have educational de-regulation, but just removing the current assessment requirements of NCLB wouldn’t necessarily cause schools to focus on engaging students. Traditional models of instruction persist in large part because of historical momentum. I wonder if schools should be assessed by “happiness and engagement” surveys of both parents and students? Do students and their parents report they are happy with school? Do they report they are engaged in meaningful work, which they are intrinsically motivated to complete? Do kids love school and want to go to school? These may sound like fluff measures to some, but I wonder if assessments like that could have the desired effects you’re identifying here?

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[...] I’ve been thinking lately about the DIFFERENT educational policies we need at state and federal levels to encourage a focus on ENGAGEMENT, creativity, fun and authentic learning in schools. (Add to that list “21st century literacy/workforce skills” too.) Building on those thoughts, I posted the following as a comment on the Tech Chicks Tips post, “Assessment vs. Engagement”: So in political terms, what types of educational policies could the federal and state governments enact which would allow teachers to have the TIME they need, and also place emphasis on engagement rather than summative assessment? This is a million dollar question, I think, and I don’t know the answer. My instinct is that we need to have educational de-regulation, but just removing the current assessment requirements of NCLB wouldn’t necessarily cause schools to focus on engaging students. Traditional models of instruction persist in large part because of historical momentum. I wonder if schools should be assessed by “happiness and engagement” surveys of both parents and students? Do students and their parents report they are happy with school? Do they report they are engaged in meaningful work, which they are intrinsically motivated to complete? Do kids love school and want to go to school? These may sound like fluff measures to some, but I wonder if assessments like that could have the desired effects you’re identifying here? [...]

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Tech Chick Tips » Blog Archive » Too much content? said in January 18th, 2007 at 10:21 am

[...] Too much content?Formal assessments continued.New podcast episode, new forums!Do you Digg us? Then Digg Us.Assessment vs. EngagementFive Things You Didn’t Know About AnnaWe’re published!Show me…We Are Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year!Friends at Thanksgiving [...]

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Kate said in January 18th, 2007 at 3:57 pm

A principal of mine once said, “If you teach the TEKS, the TAKS test will take care of itself.” Maybe instead of focusing on the bubble kids and the benchmarks, we could use that time to plan and create these engaging lessons.

I do, however, think there needs to be some kind of accountability. If students enjoy school, that is absolutely wonderful, however, it doesn’t ensure they will have the necessary skills to go to the next grade level, right? So, what’s the accountability? I wish I knew.

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Week 2: The Tech Chick Tips « Nicole Stuckey said in February 3rd, 2012 at 12:14 pm

[...] was something that pertained to one of my class discussions last week. The blog entry was titled “Assessment vs. Engagement” and talked about teachers who felt that they could not engage their students in the material because [...]

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