Monday, August 2, 2010

To sit beside

The Latin root word for assessment is "assidere" which means to sit beside.

So... what the hell is going on here? 

I'm pretty sure "sit beside" did not imply rows upon rows of learners sitting alone in a crowd... kind of beside each other.

I'm almost certain that "sit beside" was suppose to be about the learner and the teacher working with each other.

And yet, look at this!

Are we out of our minds?

Have we lost the entire plot?

What's more is that defenders of standardized, fill-in-the-bubble, forced-choice examinations have the audacity to cite a 'real world' need for such examinations, and yet standardized testing is what constitutes an amazingly contrived and unrealistic form of assessment. 

Can you look at this picture and tell me what profession these people are learning to become?


Does this resemble anything you do everyday in the real world?


Do you see a problem with that?

What are you doing about it?


  1. I just recently started following your blog, and am enjoying it--one provocative post after another! And I share your vision of learner and teacher working w/each other (learner and learner working w/each other too). Here's the link to a practical approach toward doing this that's worked for my students and those of many teachers I've coached:

  2. Joe, connect with us at the Coalition of Essential Schools to find a network of schools that are doing something about it - namely, finding ways to create instruction-enhancing performance-based assessments that connect to learning and work that's meaningful in the world. I'm happy to point you to resources or just visit us and poke around:


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