dimanche 6 février 2011

Ken O'Connor - Webinar

Well, this was my first ever webinar (Ken O'Connor: How to Handle the Toughest Grading Challenges to Keep the Focus on Student Achievement) and it's great to know that these kinds of opportunities are available for me in areas in which I am ready to grow. I know where I want to go in evaluation and when I hear well-respected experts in the field confirm what I believe are great principles and best practices, I am encouraged. I now feel that I am going in the right direction!

The high points of this for me (although I have not reviewed in any great depth yet) were the following:

The difference between compliance and responsibility. I have always known there is a difference, but I love the way he explains it. I have even told my students about it so that they might be aware of what their actions really mean. He believes that compliance is when students do their work because they feel they HAVE to. If they don't, something will happen: failing grade, phone call to parents... Responsibility, however, is when students do the work because they choose to do it. They want to learn, or they know that they will understand by completing the work...

His 5 beliefs or guiding principles were also a good reminder of what we are really doing here.
  • We are working with children/teenagers NOT adults.
  • Schools should be educative: everything should focus on supporting learning.
  • Responsibility and compliance are NOT the same.
  • Fairness is equity of opportunity NOT uniformity.
  • We should strive to maximize intrinsic motivation and minimize extrinsic motivators.
We have a ways to go to get all staff members on the same page. We all want to go to the same place, but we don't all want to use the same mode of transportation. The unfortunate part is that some of the methods of transportation mislead you into believing that their final destination is the desired target. It's kind of like believing the ferryman will get you there if you pay him in advance.

I'm anxious to put some of these ideas into practice so that I can be an advocate for tested and proven strategies in evaluation.

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