Deeper Learning: Performance Assessment and Authentic Audience
In a conversation with a veteran educator -- a man with years of experience teaching English and acting as a headmaster -- I was confronted with a prejudice so ingrained in my teaching that I was almost embarrassed to admit it. He said, "You know, when I ask a student to write a paper and turn it in to me, that's ridiculous; I'm the worst audience they could have." I was intrigued. He went on, "Who am I to assume that someone will want to write their best work, something truly personal and creative, for me? A single-person audience is a pretty lame audience, let alone the fact that I'm a middle-aged white guy." That hit me like a rolled-up newspaper. As I absorbed this veteran educator’s words, I realized that not only was I wrong in my assumption that I (or any teacher) is a meanigful audience, but also that my assumptions about how grading and assessment work were so far removed from modern research that I might as well have been a 21st-century doctor treating humours. This matters. 1. 2.