Friday, March 4, 2011

Where do good ideas come from?

If we know that ingenious innovations require an extensive incubation period where ideas can become bigger than the sum of their parts, then we have to know that attributing the success of a child's learning at the end of the year exclusively to their latest teacher is a step beyond asinine.

Designing and implementing elaborate accountability schemes that reward and punish teachers and students alike based on one-time, high stake tests provides at best a superficial and supremely shallow window into the engines of creativity that exist in our schools.

Senator Paul Wellstone may have summed this up best:

Making students accountable for test scores works well on a bumper sticker and it allows many politicians to look good by saying that they will not tolerate failure. But it represents a hollow promise. Far from improving education, high- stakes testing marks a major retreat from fairness, from accuracy, from quality, and from equity.


  1. This is a very interesting video. I would not have ever looked at things the way Steven Johnson did. Glad you shared this video and I was able to watch it. Thanks.

  2. i love adjacent possibilities.

    have you read Kevin Kelly's What Tech Wants? i got the same feel.

    we need to lobby for free space,allowing learners to structure/design their own school/life.

  3. Also a compelling argument for allowing and facilitating as much collaboration and discussion in the classroom, and beyond, as possible.


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