Saturday, January 11, 2003

From Tightly Wound

Would someone please explain that the reason women and minorities are underrepresented in the Western Canon is because they weren't taught to read and write on a regular basis until about 100 years ago? Why must we overlook the realities of history, which would incidentally give students a much larger appreciation of writers like Jane Austen and Frederick Douglass, in order to make everyone "feel good about themselves?"


The same thing is happening in history. Students know about all the minority groups WITHOUT knowing the bigger picture - which is JUST as bad as thinking only a dead white male lives in the country and runs it all by himself.

Critics are forgetting a fundamental idea - students need CONTEX for what they are learning.

We've gone overboard "under" stressing memorization. Many student no longer learn times tables because the calculator can do it form them. And yet this is actually a skill we can use in every day life as we pay our bills, shop, etc. - not to mention the discipline of actually having to acquire new material.

Sorry to start off on such a rant but I definitely agree. (Also see Tightly Wound's rant on traffic snarls on January 9 - I agree!)

Have been busy researching Assessment this morning. We have NetLibrary available through our university library and it's wonderful. The online Interlibrary Loan Forms are also wonderful. And I still actually visit the library and browse the shelves. I had the pleasure of serving on a university-wide library strategic planning committee last year - largely (I was told) because I'm one of the few faculty that actually uses the library and makes my students go there..............anyway

I am bound and determined to make this assessment process manageable and worthwhile. While our on-campus ed folks are wonderful (with a few exceptions :} ), there is still the cliche that ed folks make something complicated that doesn't have to be. At the AHA meeting, one of the best sessions I went to included folks from CSU-Long Beach and Alverno College (the god of assessment! - since instructors are actually rewarded for assessing and do not have some of the same irrelevant publication expectations that are enforced other places). The most important piece of information I came away with was the following conceptual framework:

Measure student learning based on:

1. Knowledge
2. Use of Sources
3. Analysis
4. Presentation

I think this is

a) a workable framework
b) can be applied to our state teacher licensure standards

The most interesting part of all this is that genuine assessment is based on the premise that you come up with your own standards ........we don't have that option. However, I am also relying on the fact that historians like me know how to research and as long as we can back up our approach and it fits within the state framework, we should be good to go. After twisting in the wind last year and having to literally sit by while evaluators actually did NOT read what I prepared, I figured I have nothing to lose. Besides improving student learning, we have to work to prepare for the on-site visit from the state department of ed and NCATE in Fall 2004. They have already let us know they don't want us to "over-document" so the word of the day is sampling - and we can do that!

More later.

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]