The process of building a portfolio and reflecting on one’s work allows students to demonstrate their best work and participate in the evaluation process, making the teacher’s role more of a facilitator or guide.
I explained the importance of giving students feedback, but realized it wouldn't be much use, since there really was no opportunity for improvement. It was more about making sure each student had met each standard. She pressed me further, “but why do you need to be the judge of that? Have them evaluate it themselves.”
Breaking the monopoly of evaluation In the interest of supporting the autonomy of our students, we should seek every opportunity to place students "behind the wheel" of their own learning (see Ike Shibley's "Putting Students in the Driver Seat"). This issue becomes particularly sensitive when it comes to evaluation. We know what a powerful learning … Continue reading Using Self-assessment Letters for a Conversational Evaluation
This is the second in a series of posts exploring teaching and learning in the de-graded and de-tested language arts classroom. Read the first post here. Teaching can be a lonely profession. Even though I come into contact with 120 people every day, most of the interactions are asynchronous. The relationships I have with my … Continue reading The Limits of Community and the Future of Going Gradeless
When asked what recommendations they would give teachers to improve feedback…students claimed to want more, and more useful, responses to their writing. A wide majority — 87% — rated as “important” or “very important” the advice that teachers give more detailed feedback on papers. — Harvard Study of Undergraduate Writing That’ll do, Harvard Study of Undergraduate Writing, that’ll do. I … Continue reading Explode These Feedback Myths and Get Your Life Back
This post is crossposted on Medium and was also published in the New York Observer. After years of teaching using the principles of standards-based learning and grading, I encountered two findings that radically changed my perspective on assessment, grading, and reporting. The first finding comes from Ruth Butler (1988, as cited in Wiliam 2011) regarding feedback. … Continue reading Teachers Going Gradeless