8 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2019
    1. Portfolios, for example, can be constructive if they replace grades rather than being used to yield them. 

      The problem is, in our current educational system, schools and universities try to have their educationally progressive cake and eat it too. Portfolios are used to show how much a school values the process, but then they continue to play the traditional game by grading the product.

    2. It’s not enough to replace letters or numbers with labels (“exceeds expectations,” “meets expectations,” and so on).

      Report cards are simply not a progressive tool - using labels rather than numbers attempts to mask the authority of the report card with progressively-themed measurements.

    3. To address one common fear, the graduates of grade-free high schools are indeed accepted by selective private colleges and large public universities — on the basis of narrative reports and detailed descriptions of the curriculum (as well as recommendations, essays, and interviews), which collectively offer a fuller picture of the applicant than does a grade-point average.

      And good old SAT scores too, I imagine. I do think it's important to question the level of privilege and understanding of how to self-advocate within a system that is necessary in order to break rank from the traditional gate-keepers. That's why I mention the SAT scores above - students can go to a gradeless school - which makes them look progressive, innovative and motivated - and still get all the private tutoring to pass SATs and have the traditional cache needed for elite institutions.

    4. Even a well-meaning teacher may produce a roomful of children who are so busy monitoring their own reading skills that they’re no longer excited by the stories they’re reading.

      I am concerned by the use of "monitoring" in this sentence - the author seems to be suggesting that "well-meaning teachers" are training students to compare themselves and wonder "how good they are" as they read. In fact, monitoring as a reading skill is a strategic element of metacognitive regulation. (Flavell, 1979, 1987; Schraw & Dennison, 1994, in TEAL Center Fact Sheet No. 4, Metacognitive Processes, Adult Education and Literacy, U.S. Department of Education) Readers are taught to occasionally monitor their understanding of a text as they read (Do I still understand what's going on?) to ensure overall comprehension. Kohn worries that students will monitor themselves out of their reading enjoyment - but students can't enjoy what they are reading if they can't understand the text.

  2. Jun 2019
    1. Yes, I would eliminate grades all together. What we want is students to be engaged and thoughtful participants in their own learning. Grades are not helping us toward that.

      on grading...

  3. Sep 2018
  4. Jun 2017
    1. education as a democratic public sphere is also crucial as a theoretical tool and political resource for fighting against neoliberal modes of governance that have reduced faculty all over the United States to adjuncts and part-time workers with few or no benefits. These workers bear the brunt of a labor process that is as exploitative as it is disempowering.
    2. Critical pedagogy is organized around the struggle over agency, values and social relations within diverse contexts, resources and histories. Its aim is producing students who can think critically, be considerate of others, take risks, think dangerously and imagine a future that extends and deepens what it means to be an engaged citizen capable of living in a substantive democracy.