Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Measuring the "Immeasurable"

Richardson, W. (n.d.). Measuring the "immeasurable". (2012). District Administration48(8), 92.

Despite the fact that most parents and future employers are more concerned with students having the ability to solve problems and think critically, most of our current assessments measure these things. The article suggests that finding real audiences for student work is crucial towards assessing what they term "immeasurable skills". If we shift the focus of our assessments to these skills, we will be preparing our students better.

"Rarely is the first thing out of a parent’s mouth “I want them to develop the ability to solve differentiated equations” or “I want them to understand the causes of the Civil War.” "

the tension is that when we focus our teaching efforts on optimizing the measurable, we risk neglecting the immeasurable."

It’s the important work of school leaders right now to find opportunities for students to do real work for real audiences, and opportunities to turn what they know into performance."


The article brings to mind a quote by Tony Wagner at the recent Deeper Learning conference at High Tech. He said "It no longer matters how much you know, it matters what you do with what you know." They actually mention Tony in this article. Although High Tech does a great job teaching students to "do something with what they know", I don't know how effective we still are in measuring student's ability to do this. Most classrooms still base their grades on content knowledge. Even POL's (at least in 6th grade) focus primarily on re-presenting content that students have learned throughout the semester. I wonder what we could do to more effectively measure the "immeasurable skills" mentioned in the article.

No comments:

Post a Comment