Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Alberta advertising undermining assessment
It makes little sense for teachers to work their tales of to improve their assessment practices in ways that provide children with non-graded information that they require to improve only to have the province tell parents to look for graded feedback.
To be clear, this post has nothing to do with the $6.5 billion invested in education.
It can be hard enough for parents to accept that school for their children might look and feel different than when they went to school, and it makes it really really hard to influence change when the government holds up traditions, that we are trying to change, as signals for success.
Someone reading this post might think "oh come on, Joe. Lighten up." To this I respond with: 6.5 billion is a lot of money, and the education of our children is nothing to take lightly. Many parents work so hard at their jobs and parenting their children that they don't have much time or effort in their day to think about pedagogy, so when we do try and catch their eye with advertisements like this, we better be acutely aware of what we are telling them.
In this case, we are telling them to look for something that some progressive Alberta teachers have been trying to move beyond.
For more on the research against grading:
Grading and the fear of failure
Grading and commenting
The Case Against Grades