Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

“All or Nothing”- I Don’t Think So

Lately there have been a number of tweets about being a Passion driven school vs. a Data driven schools. Maybe I am crazy but I am not sure what the debate or issue is. I think we need to have both. We need students who are passionate about learning and are engaged in learning, and we need to be teaching them things that they are passionate about and will make a difference when they leave school and enter the “real world”. So yes I agree with those that say when was the last time you had to do a worksheet or answer multiple choice questions once you left school.

At the same time the passion that we hope to instill in our students needs to be channeled towards student learning. Whatever skills we want them to be learning, be it critical thinking, questioning, or analyzing, just to name a few, we still need to make sure that they are learning those skills.

So how do we insure that the students are learning the skills we give them in a Passion driven school?
The answer is through Data. Now Data doesn’t mean tests and more tests. Data could be a survey, a student project, an interview or any other way to measure what students have learned.

Education is a balance it isn’t all or nothing. The question is how to reach that balance,what is the percentage of X vs. Y? I don’t know, but what I do know is that you need both X and Y,or in this case you need the passion and the love for learning but you also need the data to let you know that the passion is being translated into student learning.

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