I like the Growing Success document.
In fact, this document demonstrates a trust in teachers that is often not present in the political rhetoric of education. The document outlines an ideal that teachers are able to assess and evaluate according to their best understanding of the needs and skills of their students.
Two words stand out:
These two words are used repeatedly throughout the document. They rely on a teacher’s ability to take consideration of student demonstrations, be it in product, process, conversations or observations. They also rely on a teacher’s ability to interpret the evidence as gathered by the teacher.
The word most glaringly absent from the document is calculate. The MoE has done away with the notion that a grade, as found on a report card, is a straight calculation of marks. I believe that this is a telling sign that education is slowly, albeit too slowly, systematically moving to a more individualized, student-centred learning environment.
It is now our job to start effectively using this responsibility and communicating the way in which we are looking for success.
This is scary for teachers. Calculating leaves no room for error. Interpretation and consideration can be misused and we’re going to need to defend it and that’s worrisome. I get that. When a parent calls asking about a mark, it is sometimes a tough conversation to begin. That said, when we engage in the conversations of interpretation and consideration we are more likely to engage in conversations of learning, which ultimately, are what we’re looking for.
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