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Brian Pelosi

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I propose we abandon traditional forms of assessment in schools to focus on a more creative learning environment.

We need to implement new ideas in our education system. Creative teaching may be a challenge for some teachers due to the heavy emphasis on state testing that we see today. As educators, to ensure the success of our students on the state tests, we must teach to the test. This could hinder the opportunity for teachers to be creative. How can we turn our classrooms into a more creative environment and a more enjoyable learning experience? It is my belief that students should find a way to prove their knowledge to the teachers. Seeing as how students all learn in different ways given Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory, they should be assessed in ways that adhere to their learning styles. Give your students the option to show you what they learned.

Today, in most professions, you get basic training or education before you start but most of your learning will occur in the field. Our job as educators is to prepare our students for the real world; so shouldn't most of our teaching occur in the real world? In order to learn life's lessons, students will most likely not be answering with a pen and a piece of paper. Life's lessons require action or demonstrations, so what are we preparing them for by relying so heavily on written tests?

We need to place less emphasis on the numbers that our students get out of our teachers and more about the experience our students receive. Education isn’t about which student is getting the best grades; education is about which student gets the most out of the experiences that our teachers provide. Almost every year, a teacher can probably pick out which student is their “smartest” student within the first two weeks of school. However, a teacher can almost never pick out which student will learn the most from them until the end of the year.

By solving this problem, we can also improve students’ opinions of school and change it from a place they HAVE to go to everyday to a place they WANT to go to everyday to learn new things.

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  • May 7 2013: I will say, as an educator, my most enjoyable classes were elective classes with little oversight. I did projects and enjoyed the learning the kids made while creating, building, and designing. I hate creating tests just to get "data" for someone higher up.
    • May 8 2013: How neat, Everett - learning is reciprocal! Educators can get as much out of a lesson as kids can this way!

      When I started directing a children's choir, the first thing I did was involve the kids in making up a set of their very own 'house rules'. (I must give credit where credit is due - it was my Mom's suggestion, she has been an educator for more than 3 decades.) I wrote down their ideas on a big piece of paper, and the kids drew pictograms to illustrate each rule. We hang that piece of paper up during every rehearsal. Because the kids made up those rules themselves, and played an active role in designing them, they adhere to them without question!
      • May 9 2013: Your creation of rules for the group, okay your mom's, is a great one. Way to go Mom!

        We forget that education is supposed to be fun and about learning in our haste to get data. We forget that kids sometimes just need to have fun and explore and they will learn amazing things. The teachers get to be guides and learners at the same time. Education is far more fun that way for all involved.

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