What if instead of having a yearly assessment that is split up into content areas, we decided to have a yearly challenge?
What if we let individuals work on challenges that our school or community was facing, and offer up some concrete solutions.
What if once, they formulated their own response, they were able to go back and collaborate with their peers to see different angles and viewpoints and revise their solutions once the team came together on a consensus?
Not only are assessments sucking the joy out of learning, they are sucking the joy out of teaching! It is really frustrating as an educator to know that you cannot spend time diving deep into subject matter, into conflict and debate, into things that really matter…because you have so much content to cover. Despite educators viewpoints on teaching pedagogy, it all comes down to how their administrator, their district, and their state view assessment. In many cases, educators feels powerless in their own classrooms because once spring rolls around, they know they have to start “preparing for the state assessment.”
I’ve worked for several different administrators and they all view assessment differently. And even though my philosophy has matched up quite directly will a couple of them, they are still held “accountable” for their test scores on the standardized state test. So how do we change that?