I’m left thinking about how I can do better with my own kids in encouraging intrinsic motivation. I want them to want to play cards with me because we have fun together when we do it.
It’s the same kind of intrinsic motivation that I want from the education system. So much of our system is defined and constrained by how we measure success. So often we default to the easy measurement, to the convenient measurement, and lose our way altogether. It may be that the way we model learning as teachers is the only real learning that happens in the classroom. I should pay more attention to my grandpa.
Dave, this all makes me think about mastery learning. For many, this is seen as the solution to students having control and ownership of their learning journey. The problem as I see it is that the roads of success are usually somebody else’s road with somebody else’s vision for tomorrow. This is something you touched on in your post on assessment when you talk about ‘compliance’:
There have been lots of innovation and encouragements. They are, for the most part, directed at trying to get lots of people to ‘work’. They intend to measure the compliance of our students. Is our goal about compliance? Or, as it says in basically every strategic plan in education in the world, are we trying to support independent, creative citizens?
I am left wondering what happens if our children do not even want to play cards at all? Or learn an instrument? Or any other activity. Maybe the answer is enforcing independence where:
Students create and assess their own learning. In this scenario, the learner is facilitator and assessor. Where they create their own narratives, their own successes, their own continual feedback.
One of the most powerful elements of the MTC design to date is the input they received from colleges in advance of launching the initiative. In discussion with directors of admissions and college presidents, Scott and his team found a receptive audience “if you can give us something that we can initially scan in two minutes”. It is also more than serendipitous that this effort was launched the same year that dozens of colleges and universities signed on to the “Turning the Tide” manifesto that refocuses college admissions on depth, interest, and passion, and away from multiple advanced placement courses, grade point average, and shallow community service experiences.
I think that it is something that Templestowe College has touched in the development of alternative pathways to higher education. There is also a PYP primary school near me that has mapped out the various learnings and marks them off, I don’t see that as any different?
What is “competency”? Who decides? How is it different from current assessment decisions? (Is it?)
According to Will Richardson if the focus of ‘mastery’ is about better teaching then we are still missing the point.
The other thing to consider is the place of ‘grades’ in US schools. How prevalent are ‘grades’ in Australia? I am not against mastery or any such intervention, I am just mindful of it being seen as the solution.