Skip to main content

View Diary: Education: Why data-driven instruction does not work (98 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  The Fatuus Ignis of Results (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranton, dizzydean, Sunspots, vickijean

    Data can help in assessing programmatic and curricular strengths and weaknesses, but never as part of the ongoing classroom. I.e. you may come up with a compartmentalized assessment of eight major areas of cognition and material retention and test at the end. This can show which areas the curriculum is succeeding in. However, it can't work on the same population of students synchronically.

    How to put this?

    I made up ten common questions for our survey literature class. The questions hit memory, contextualizing, and analysis, and some are worded in a way that poor readers will stumble on the question and clear readers will get the easy answer. At the end of the class, I can look at which were the most missed questions to see which areas have been least successful, and thus which we can address in the future. However, if I pre- and post-tested them, then I would be distorting my pedagogy to "win" the test, and the students would give a self-consciously "test" performance. I would get no data on teaching.

    The reason that synchronic testing/adjustment can't work is that education is an activity rather than a noun. Students learn as an active verb, and this learning takes place at various rates. Ideally, we'd test when the students volunteered for the test. Since we can't do that, we settle on "last day of class" or some other arbitrary date, but some of the students will "get" the lesson the next day after the test, and others the next week.

    Finally, critical thinking, in particular, is a question of psychological maturity as well as cognitive strength, and there are good, intelligent kids who simply won't be able to divorce themselves from what they read until they're twenty.

    "...ere God made us He loved us; which love was never slacked, nor ever shall be." - Juliana of Norwich

    by The Geogre on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 04:33:02 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site