February 14, 2005

Rattling my chains

I heard Alfie Kohn speak this morning. He raised some interesting issues regarding grading and teaching in general. His basic premise is that extrinsic rewards are in direct conflict with intrinsic rewards and thus students will work towards a grade rather than towards learning and the love of it. If our collective long term goal for our students are to help them become critical thinkers, caring citizens and lll’s (life long learners), is what were doing with kids now really going to achieve this?

He also talked specifically about the Saskatchewan situation. Commending our province on the one hand for being front runners in opposing the strong move towards standardized testing and “potato sorting” of students. He was also very critical of Saskatchewan’s Evergreen Curriculum stating that it’s objective heavy mandated approach limits teachers in discovering content because of the perceived need to cover content.

Very interesting stuff and things that I’ve been pondering for a while. His philosophy of education coincides well with two other speakers I’ve heard in the last 6 months. Willard Daggett and Ken O’Connor. Maybe we will see a change….