No Transcripts for Elite High Schools? Bring on Non-Grading! Gaming a New System
A group of elite private high schools has proposed posting a transcript of "mastery" instead of grades. Sounds great! But I fear that if there is a list of “competencies” and “skills” that elite students achieve, there will be summer boot camps and counselors advising them on how to raise their “competencies” so that their non-transcript will still stand out.
It will still be a game, but a non-numeric game.
The Kids are more than all right
Both are seventeen. They are too young to vote in places like the US. But we need more of them!
A huge shakeup in the world of higher education was announced on Wednesday: The SAT would again be transformed. But the bigger questions are hard to address, so like Ptolemaic astronomy, we fix the details without questioning the system.
Learning In and Out of School
The Proceedings of a conference, Learning In and Out of School: Education Across the Globe, held at the University of Notre Dame's Kellogg Institute for International Studies on May 22-23, 2012, are now available!
This is envisioned as a contribution to broadening the scholarly but also the public conversation about the nature of learning and its relationship to the formal institutions we know as schools. In that sense, posting proceedings is a necessary offering.
We—anthropologists, psychologists, human development and education scholars from as far as Korea and Alaska—met for two full days during a gorgeous spring week just following graduation, with flowers and warmth and the peace of an academic year just completed. We ate wonderful food throughout the day and night, and had many informal conversations along with the formal proceedings. As convener, I aimed to implement my best understanding of how people learn and how they interact by structuring the conference with no papers delivered. This is somewhat like “flipping the classroom”: the independent preliminary work that could be done in advance was done in advance—writing and reading papers and preparing comments on others’ work—and the precious face-to-face time was used for what could only be done that way: discussing, asking, brainstorming, and laughing together.
I have been thinking a lot lately about money and grades. Not for the reasons you may think: that I want more and better of both (or to “give” tough grades). But because they share interesting qualities. My thinking is analytical rather than greedy.
Money and grades, I propose, are both supersigns.
[Also see this and comments on PopAnth: Hot Buttered Humanity]
Today’s New York Times has articles that suggest two competing views: Everyone should go to college, and college is a waste of time.
Which view is right?
How High School Prepared You, Our Best Student, for the Wrong Things in College, and How You Can Change Course
Think about high school, if you dare: Every minute scheduled, someone telling you what to do, even having to ask permission to use the bathroom. Every night there were scheduled events, homework, tasks to complete. Why? To get into college, if you were one of the students on track to compete to get into a selective school. For years, your focus was on ferreting out the secret desires of your teachers, and slyly guessing which activities would make you stand out more than your peers. Always with an eye outward, you did what you’re told. Or else!
And now here you are, at long last, at the college of your dreams—or at least one you’ll convince yourself is close enough. The Best Years of Your Life await, right?