Friday, January 22, 2010

Control...

flickr CC image via ms. Tea

Uncontrolled Thoughts on Control:

Students don't often fit very well into the assessment categories we have established. They develop at their own pace, reach milestones on their terms and hold a perspective that is theirs alone and impossible for us to decipher, yet when we are pressed to evaluate their progress, we do so in comparison to benchmark standards that we as educators have subjectively designated.

When educators prescribe standards of achievement that target a classic Gaussian Probability Distribution, or bell curve outcome, we are essentially rejecting the quantum possibilities that originate within the standard deviations that fall outside the curve.

Virtually any black swan event in history that I'm aware of originated outside the curve, so to speak. Genuinely earth shattering ideas don't often originate somewhere in the mean.

Perhaps in our quest for ultimate control over student outcomes, we have actually lost control... that is, any amount that may have been within our grasp in the realm of learning and its infinite possibilities.
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