Day 144 (of 188) you still have to play the game & finish…don’t you?
A couple things have been bugging me between ‘on paper’ and ‘in actuality’.
The first is the usual sports connection – one team might look better ‘on paper’ (the eyeball test, etc) but the game still has to be played. When I played football we had a kicker who could boom some kicks a long way in practice – but not so well in game time situations. It’s bugging me in a good-kind-of way because it’s what makes things so exciting when watching playoffs!
Its been bugging me that I heard about a discussion about whether or not some class sizes could be better estimated if there was a good indication to know who was going to fail. Here I struggle. If you already know a learner is going to fail….why continue? I’m there an opportunity to ‘out perform’ what ‘it says on the paper’? If. It – why in the heck continue? To let them stew and struggle? Even sports teams are more merciful – if you’re not making the team you get cut – or you don’t. I shoulda been cut. I came out of a small town with no football experience. But I was given a chance. Sure if grades were to be assigned I’d likely have ‘failed’ – and if there was no chance of me playing I should’ve been cut. But I was given a chance to always do better. I was given a chance to outperform what would’ve been put down on paper about me.
And there is always an element of supporting the underdog. A friend took a flyer and did eportfolios in an environment where “there wasn’t much support”. Despite what ‘the writing on the wall was’ – she persevered and is now being recognized for blazing the trail into communicating student learning with formative assessment that eportfolios are enabling teachers students and parents.
If we already know how kids are going to do – why try? Education should not be like watching a pvr’d sporting event where you already know the score – and I’m not watching my team play through a blowout if I know I’m just going to be frustrated. Embrace the element of letting things decide themselves – in sports and life there really isn’t such a thing as ‘a sure thing’.