Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


picture by: amazon

I an currently reading the book "Learning by Choice" by A.J. Juliani. Here is a quote from the book that really spoke to me.

    Rick Wormeli, author of Fair Isn’t Always Equal, has a view on “Redoing work” hit home for me on so      many different levels: If we do not allow students to redo work, we deny the growth mindset so vital to student maturation, and we are declaring to the student: -this assignment has no legitimate educational value -it’s okay if you don’t do this work -it’s okay if you don’t learn this content or skill None of these is acceptable to the highly accomplished, professional educator." Juliani, A.J. (2015-04-01). Learning By Choice

So this idea of Wormeli also spoke to me on many different levels. I have often asked myself what is the purpose of homework? what does a letter grade mean and what is the purpose of giving a zero. 
Each of these ideas deserves its own post and many have written and spoken about each of these ideas and topics. 
I have my own ideas as well but I think Wormeli really ties it all together and gives it a common denominator. We need to ask "Does this have Educational Value" to everything we do and the answer needs to be YES!
Time is valuable and we shouldn't be wasting our time or that of our students.  

There is another underlying idea to his quote and that is that as educators we need to model and teach some of those more amorphous type skills and ideas like growth mindset and critical thinking etc. Students learn more by doing and from our actions and what we value than from what we actual teach. 

There is only part of the quote which I take exception to. The ideas mentioned in the quote, the importance  of time, and teaching and modeling are basics and crucial and not doing it is just not acceptable of any educator.  I would argue by definition all educators are professional and we wouldn't accept anything less. 

There is a great quote that says " Teach and Be the Teacher that you would want your own kids to have" 

If we use the this criteria along with Does this have educational value we will never have the issues that Wormeli discusses ( At least we can hope !) 


  1. One of the areas of concern is "Educational Value." Test scores are still the driving force for defining value. State standards and the common core are driving forces for defining value. Schools can battle those forces by creating their own sense of value, but that takes serious work and time. With the demands for accountability and teacher turnover, creating a different culture is hard.
    Another point that came to mind that I thought was interesting was the ACT / SAT. They let you take the test as many times as you want (of course there is fee). If you are not happy with your score, you can take it again. As an English teacher I always hated the idea of reading a book once, especially if a student liked it. We do create an idea that school work is disposable because we never go back to it. When I do open reading reading units, many times students will pick something they liked from classes they took earlier because they liked the book.
    Nice blog post, thank you for sharing.