Re: grades

Dave Lewis (dkl@IWAYNET.NET)
Tue, 27 Aug 1996 00:14:45 -0400


>I think some kinds of writing, such as conversational, have more
>intrinsic pleasures than other kinds, and this may have a carry-over
>effect to life after school, but still I worry that once
>education gets a firm hold on electronic communication (coming soon to
>your neighborhood schools) kids will turn off to that, too, as soon as
>school is out.

Exactly. We're a large urban k-12 district starting to wire and network our
classrooms. As we plan for what to do with this technology, I'm trying to
make sure that we don't start trying to teach *about* computers and *about*
email and *about* the Web. As soon as we make them the *object* of study,
of quizes and tests and grades, we'll have turned the kids off to the
technology. I hope we're up to the challenge.

>As always, there is some good news to report. I heard a discussion
>on the local NPR this weekend among principals on the topic of "What's
>working and what isn't" in education. It was a small group (and that may
>or may not say a lot) that was unanimous in saying that what works is
>getting out of the way of, and/or enhancing, kids' *enjoyment* of learning
>and exploring. The specifics of how to do this included such things as
>opening up the campus to parent visits on a drop-in basis, having school
>cookouts and other fun events, as well as looking at alternatives to
>letter grades whenever possible. When was the last time students' parents
>or children showed up in a university class or played on a class
>electronic listserv discussion? Often, ironically enough, the good news
>is happening in "lower" education, rather than "higher."

I'm not sure I see the irony. Except for the fact that we don't have the
money that higher ed does (apparently by skimping on salaries of
non-tenured personnel =8-) I think it's easier to change the system in the
lower grades. In fact it gets harder and harder as you work with
intermediate, middle and high school staffs.


>Bob King


Dave Lewis | Don't be afraid to take a big step.
Educational Technology Specialist | You can't cross a chasm in two small | jumps. -David Lloyd George