Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sabbatical Part 6

The morning session by Jim Honan was a look at a case study involving a mass of data for a Florida school. This session sort of horrified me. Most states test every kid from Grade 3 upwards and the results are high stakes – so much so that the kids seem to practice test all year and teachers drill down to see what questions kids get wrong, and then put in place strategies to help them get the questions right, and Principals oversee this and hold teachers accountable, and they in turn are held accountable – frome Grade 3 up!!!!

They have got to stop weighing the pig and feed the poor critter. It will grow! Kids need to learn and develop an enjoyment for learning! I was horrified after this session and had to contain myself – I am a guest here after all.

Principalsd need to take a stance against this madness. Teachers who work collaboratively to share best practice, who engage in effective formative assessment and use the results to inform further strategies (around learning and not test scores) bring the best out in kids. Look at the Pisa results.

The second session from Lee Teitel was on developing productive partnerships. He had some interesting ideas about making partnerships transformative rather than transactional.

The small group session was neat as we all wrote little messages to each other which were great to read.

After that we headed to the Campus pub and had a Clambake – Lobster, chowder and lots of beer. After dropping stuff off at home we joined other mad fellas for a Magarita and then a few more beers at a Karaoke which was a great student pub, with some middle aged principals thrown in.

Pubs are great here as you have to be 21 and Ids are checked strenuously. Makes for a pleasant scene.

Bit slow and tired for last morning of Harvard!

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