Conferences are great and this years NYSCATE was no exception. Opportunities to meet other professionals eager to educate children. Educators are an overwhelmingly idealistic community. That’s what makes me glad to be one. These are challenging days in education as educators everywhere seek to implement the Common Core. There is a great deal of stress generated as teachers and administrators are being evaluated more stringently than ever. Politicians, the public and corporations are demanding more accountability. Children face more of this pressure too to succeed on these benchmarks.
Everywhere in the vendor area I saw sales people exploiting this new trend. Company after company selling software designed to assess learning. The emphasis today is using the web and iPads or other similar I-devices. Regardless of the platform the emphasis is clearly on assessment. In stark contrast to all of this I attended Dr. Gary Stager’s presentation which emphasized authentic learning and authentic assessment of the learning. Gary Stager offers a clear choice between the view that everything can and/or ought to be measured and what might defy measurement.
Are we educators who enlighten or merely trainers who impart knowledge. You can easily assess training. You cannot easily assess enlightenment and transformation. Enlightenment which is marked by flashes of insight defies measurement. Ironically enlightenment and transformation are at the highest levels of Bloom. The Common Core despite its lofty goals might actually be frustrating education with its emphasis on measurable goals.
Can we we combine the two? I’m interested in what you think.