Wednesday, 16 April 2014

What is Fair?

Image: Unknown original source - This from a post from Joe Bower

Today I had the pleasure of attending a workshop with Damian Cooper, author of Redefining Fair. A book that is about planning, assessment and grading. What a great topic to read and learn more about in today's education climate. In Alberta right now there is so much talk about Education and curriculum and what this is going to look like in the (near) future. We are in the midst of a curriculum redesign where the government is committed to completely revamping the K-12 curriculum so it matches and works for tomorrows students. There is so much talk (some good and some bad) about what good learning and teaching looks like. The public are talking a lot about math and what that should look like in the classroom. There has also been a lot of buzz about no-zero policies and academic awards in junior and senior high schools. 

Today's session was aimed at what we should be doing in the classroom, meeting the needs of our students. It was about the things we do and say to our students. The tasks we ask of our students and how they are assessed. It was about how we should be using the curriculum despite what most educators feel they should do.

Cooper talks about 5 main imperatives. I find these to be very much in-line with Alberta's Teacher Effectiveness Framework by Sharon Friesen. Cooper's take on these are as follows:
  1. Curriculum must be meaningful, coherent and relevant
  2. Instruction must be responsive to students’ needs
  3. Assessment must be informative
  4. Grading must blend consistency with professional judgement
  5. Communication about learning must be truthful and transparent
The main points that I took away from today's workshop can be captured in the following Storify:

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