Fuggedaboudit !

Pat Barrett’s wrote an article, “Brain Research,” about an in-service he attended.  I recommend the article and its comments, but I felt like separately addressing one little part:

[She said] we have to throw out things like:

  • grades
  • all students on the same page
  • covering the material

Well, in a way, she’s right, but

  • grades:  Nice thought, but to “forget about grades,” you have to fight not only the school board but the voters that elected them.
  • all students on the same page:  You can give individualized instruction if you’re a home-schooler with five students.  You can (and should) make the attempt in a public school with 150 students (five classes of 30), but …
  • covering the material:  She’s right if “the material” is not worth covering.  If the “standards” are sensible, i.e., they truly dictate the knowledge and skills the student needs, and “the material” matches the standards, then (and only then) she’s wrong–you don’t want to forget about covering that kind of material.  If the material doesn’t match the standards, somebody’s not doing their job.  If the standards are not sensible, then re-read my opinion on “forgetting about grades”

UPDATE: “She” refers to the writer of a comment, which was unfortunately lost when “technical difficulties” forced us to convert Pat’s blog (and mine) from Nucleus to WordPress.  My article on grades is missing for the same reason.