When considering the utility and purpose of student reports, it is important to distinguish what it is exactly that teachers are asked to report. The words ‘achievement’ and ‘progress’ are often used interchangeably in student reports and conflated to mean the same thing. Indeed they are highly related concepts; it is often through tracking one’s achievements that a sense of one’s progress can be measured. However, if achievement is taken only to mean the grades, scores or marks received on summative assessment tasks, then progress often appears only to mean whether the child’s standard of achievement (their grades) is improving, maintaining or declining. Where progress is understood differently – to mean ‘increasing “proficiency” reflected in more extensive knowledge, deeper understandings and higher-level skills within a domain of learning’ (Masters, 2017) – an emphasis only on reporting achievement on summative assessments would give very little sense of a child’s progress from where they began.
Tonight’s #aussieED Twitter chat has been advertised as talking about ‘bad research’ and ‘good research’, and also asking ‘where can a good teacher turn?’ for research. The topic of research in education is a popular one. Teachers are encouraged to use evidence-based and research-informed practices. They are encouraged to know what research is worth listening to, what is worth ignoring, and what has been debunked (hello, learning styles and other neuromyths like ‘we only use 10% of our brains’ and left/right brain learning). Education researchers seek to disseminate their research to the profession. Some organisations seek to bridge the gap between education research and practice. Yet a gap remains.
Led by James Naughtie, readers talk to acclaimed authors about their best-known novels
History is not something that is behind us, it is something that we move through
History is never cut or dry, because it happened that way, it doesn’t mean it had to happen that way
We have to think of [fiction] not as an addition to history or an alteration of history, we have to think of it as a parallel record, because fiction deals with that which by its nature never comes along to the historical record. The private life, the private thought, the private word, the unexpressed impulse, the thought repressed, the dream, the inner being, the workings of the psyche
The problem with anyone who talks well is that they often talk too much
Eventually I achieved sharing as a moral imperative, but I never learnt it
A book is made by two people – a writer and a reader
You don’t really research fiction, except through life
I know there are failures on every page and I am tormented by that. That is why I write another book, so that I can get it right.
What we really need, both in schools and in the real world, is a shift away from arguing to win, and towards rhetoric as understanding. It’s a genre that Associate Professor Larissa McLean Davies at The University of Melbourne has labelled the "treaty" genre. Under this genre of writing students must show empathy, try to understand other points of view, and find a solution rather than just win an argument.
Worth a watch (or listen while walking).
I have yet to meet a teacher who is not happy for their student to be taken out for this form of intervention. However, what this ‘involvement’ means differs. One of the biggest problems I found when I taught it was everyone wants it to happen, but no one actually wanted to take any responsibility for making it meaningful. This meant there was not enough dialogue between the ‘core’ teachers and those responsible for the intervention.
This had two consequences. Firstly, I ended up spending too much time gathering my own data and observations. Secondly, this independence often led to a culture of isolation, where what was done in intervention often stayed in intervention, with limited connection back to what was actually occurring in the classroom. The only benefit of this was that I was not relying on someone else’s idea and impression.
What I learned during my time was that ‘intervention’ is always a choice. Although many schools run differing intervention programs, it does not necessarily have to be this way. For example, in Victoria the number of students in a class is not necessarily dictated by the teacher (i.e. 1 teacher = 25 students). Instead it is a complicated algorithm based on all of the teachers who ‘support students’. This includes specialists, intervention teachers and those in leadership. Schools therefore could choose to choose to scrap some of these programs to make smaller classes or as you have discussed, do it differently.
I need to note, I offer only one fractured experience that has probably changed now. However, I am no longer in that sort of role, so would not know.
What I’ve come to notice is that all these kids are rehearsing and projecting. Trying it on. Rehearsing their masculinity. Projecting their experimental versions of it. And wordlessly looking for cues the whole time. Not just from each other, but from older people around them, especially the men. Which can be heartbreaking to witness, to tell you the truth. Because the feedback they get is so damn unhelpful. If it’s well-meant it’s often feeble and half-hearted. Because good men don’t always stick their necks out and make an effort.
In the absence of explicit, widely-shared and enriching rites of passage, young men in particular are forced to make themselves up as they go along. Which usually means they put themselves together from spare parts, and the stuff closest to hand tends to be cheap and defective. And that’s dangerous.
Toxic masculinity is a burden to men. I’m not for a moment suggesting men and women suffer equally from misogyny, because that’s clearly and fundamentally not true. And nobody needs to hear me mansplaining on the subject of the patriarchy. But I think we forget or simply don’t notice the ways in which men, too, are shackled by misogyny. It narrows their lives. Distorts them. And that sort of damage radiates; it travels, just as trauma is embedded and travels and metastasizes in families. Slavery should have taught us that. The Stolen Generations are still teaching us. Misogyny, like racism, is one of the great engines of intergenerational trauma.
It is also interesting reading these pieces alongside Kate O’Halloran’s article on the fear associated with women exercise.
One of the biggest issues for women was the difference between theirs and men’s “entitlement” to space. At 53, [Lisa Schuppe] is a keen surfer, but has only recently taken up the sport again after her experience as a girl who wanted to surf just like her friends who were boys – but was instead treated inequitably.
Here is a longer version of the speech
We need to speak books. To share books. To have books that show them who they are and also what others are. To celebrate books and all types of reading so that within our classrooms and schools every child can see themselves as a kid who reads. As a kid whose reading matters. As a kid who doesn’t read “easy” books, who doesn’t cheat in reading when they listen to audio books. As a kid who might not just be a reader someday, completely dismissing that they are, indeed, already a reader. And not just in their own eyes but in our eyes as well. So I suppose I can say it one more time; what we do with the reading we do matters. What we don’t do with the reading we do matters. The identities we help create matter. And the words our students share about what is killing their love of reading matters. the least we can do is listen to them. And we must bring back common sense reading practices to protect the very kids whose reading lives we were told to nurture, to protect, and to grow.
I get anxious when in real life friends don’t like an Instagram photo of mine, especially if it related to work I’m undertaking, I wonder why they didn’t spend 2 seconds pressing the heart, did they even see my photo? Don’t they know I like to get, well a like. It makes me worry. Sometimes...
I first fell in love with the web or the open aspect of the web when I was trying to finish my PhD during a time where Egypt had a lot of political conflict and I was unable to leave the house because I had a young child and the library at my institution was closed. I needed some resources, and even though I had access to some online resources, I actually needed some paper based resources that did not exist for free online, and at the time, what I fell in love with was green open access stuff that was placed on repositories, and honestly pirated stuff, that was placed online so that I had some access to some articles and book chapters that I wouldn’t normally be able to access from home. And it was that transformative moment for me where I decided that if I publish things, I would like as much as possible for the things that I publish to be openly accessible to other people.