Science, Education, and Science Education

classroom applications
February 10th, 2009 by Luann

Anyone? Anyone?

A few students took advantage of the extra time to squeeze in work at the last moment before grades closed. Most did not. Either way, I sent a huge list of grade changes, mostly semester grade incompletes,  to the secretary, who got some of them recorded incorrectly. Moral of the story is that life would be easier if we had the ability to do our own incompletes. We don’t, although a few of us have asked.

I took the NHS and Science Club to see the Lucy exhibit at the Pacific Science Center on an inservice day because they didn’t want to miss any more school. Of course that was the day that our principal had the assessment committee meeting. 3 people met, only one of whom had been to the assessment conference, a first-year teacher. Their decision that our first step should be to add two more categories to our grading: citizenship and participation. They recommended no criteria for assigning a score or value to these new categories. More importantly, to the chagrin of most of the staff who are greatly concerned with the number of intentional nonlearners in our building, there is no apparent plan to use assessment to increase student engagement and learning.

It really does not matter to me how we assess students, so long as they learn.  If students learn, it has been my 20-year experience that most any reasonable grading system will showcase that learning pretty much appropriately. Convince me that adding a measure of assessment for something totally not standards-based is going to help students learn, or how it will encourage our intentional non-learners to become learners.

Anyone?  Anyone?

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