Monday, October 17, 2016

Measuring Growth in Innovative Practices #IMMOOC Week 5

How do we measure growth? (I am not talking about a ruler or grading scale. Does anyone out there even know what a grading scale is?)

How are we measuring growth in our utilization of innovative practices? 

I highly doubt that my list of new things I have used is a good indicator of growth.

We need to measure growth in the effects of our innovative practices; what have they produced?

Some things are easy to measure.

We measure how much our children grow each year and leave a mark on a wall or door frame. We measure how many miles it takes us to go to work. We measure the ingredients for a recipe. Businesses measure success by their profits.

If we are measuring how students are utilizing what they know and what they can do long after they leave us, how do we continue to measure that growth? Measuring the critical mindset of innovative practices such as being reflective, problem finders, networked and more is a difficult task. These cannot be measured with a letter or number.

If we are to meet individual learning needs, then success looks different to each unique child.

Do WE measure that success, or do we allow THE STUDENT to measure that success?

Look at ME, for instance. (not literally) How do you measure how much I have  grown through this #IMMOOC experience. (besides inches) If you measure me compared to other participants, I am not very successful. Did those that already do innovative practices grow more or as much as me? (after reading several blogs over these weeks, it appears we are all growing a step or two further than before)

I know how much I have grown in the fact that my responses each week have pushed me a bit further than the last.

As we want students to be independent thinkers and doers... As we want students to be reflective and metacognitive... If we want students to be successful beyond their years at school... It is the students that determine their growth. However, if others want to see my growth, you can watch my progress in my blog (please don't look back) or my history of Tweets (again, no). I have left behind a "brand" of myself in the world wide web. This would mean that portfolios  (blogs) of students would be ideal, especially if utilized long after they leave school.

Know your mission or goal. I am actually part of another online book club (sorry for not being exclusive). I responded to a prompt stating that we are "to view every child as a seed waiting to bloom." - Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome.  As different flowers require different kinds of attention, we need to do the same with our students. Each requires a different tool. If we provide for the needs of all students we can motivate them to grow.

I was thinking more on the lines of providing them with experiences that motivate them to learn... to be engaged... to be contributing members of society. Comments that I received were from teachers saying that they cannot wait to see the growth of kids when they learn how to be in their seat on time (yikes), when they learn to take notes as they teach them, when they organize in what the teacher feels is right, or when they learn to raise their hand (do we do this anymore?), and address a teacher. (My negative reactions are my own and do not represent all members of this #IMMOOC). They believe these are the seeds that will lead to success.... Conformity?!

This is an example of when I see that I have grown. I don't need a letter, a number, or an evaluation.

Please see the need for choice and voice, collaboration and creativity; not conformity where a seed is planted and held back in a small planter with no room for growth.

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