- Parent Category: Education
- Category: Educational Theory
- Created on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 01:12
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 01:21
- Published on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 01:12
- Written by Brian G. Kasperitis
- Hits: 660
It is important to be competent. Students, if given the opportunity would rather be knowledgeable than not. However, listening to a lecture one is to be tested on is not seemingly opportunity knocking any more. Therefore, we must be realistic about evaluation. Maybe you should explain your position regarding the school’s grading policy to your students. Diminish the organic importance of grades if that is what you believe. Grades may be important to some, but not as an informational service. For example, if you need a letter grade to tell you whether you learned something or not, then you haven’t learned anything! I believe that we should evaluate constructively, with positive suggestions for improvement and only identify specific areas of error. I never compare students with each other, only with themselves. When possible, I also attempt to allow individual differences in evaluating. I don’t consider previous records as a tool to assess who the intelligent ones are either. Stereotyping a student or an entire class before their performance would not be a new situation.
Don’t forget to be human. Treat your students as individual people, not segmented personalities pursuing grades. Attempt to explain what you are trying to do, going to do, and doing. I often try to take it a step further by asking for and accepting my students’ help and suggestions. As an educator, I also try to be equally critical of my students and myself; we all are learners. I am also willing to accept that my ideas may be conceptually significant, but practically useless! If so, at times, I may have to throw them away!
I try not to over praise. If I do, especially for mediocrity, students will never learn real self-evaluation. I acknowledge completion of a task, but I try to forget flattery. It may be at times a good idea to solicit students’ own appraisal of work well done, or not. Discuss the intensity of involvement, the relevance and meaning as they see it.
In my opinion, schools that create mentalities, which are thinly disguised behind a veneer of thoroughness, quietness, or even lack of concern, are insured to stunt intellectual growth. Consequently, students become experts in reading the teacher’s facial expressions and giving back only what the teacher wants to hear. From the students’ perceptive, we used to call this “psyching out the teacher.” In my opinion, students who do this only come to trust others’ supposed knowledge. As an educator, you may have witnessed this yourself in school, constantly, when you bring up an assignment for example and the students ask, “Is this right?” Or, “Will this be on the test?” Or, “Is this for a grade?”
Finally, you may want to consider that if we continue to follow and let this sort of education continue, our students may prevail. Yes, they will. One day, too, when they become graduate students, disciples, followers, associated with some “school of thought”, they too will be labeled as intellectual eunuchs who keep quiet most of the time, give due respect to their professors, write extended term papers called dissertations with fabricated bibliographies, and working hard, they will travel and sightsee, on the hard road that signifies scholarship as they know it. They may finally even publish acceptable pap, which has no effect whatsoever since only similar people will read their work. I wish us well.
Brian Kasperitis began working as a professional musician at an early age. By the age of 18, he was on tour with personalities like Chubby Checker. Brian’s formal education includes an AA degree as an instrumentalist, BS in Music Education, BS in Elementary Education and a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership. Today, Brian is a part-time college professor & workshop presenter. His fifteen years of experience in the classroom and as a band teacher also includes teaching online courses for the University of Phoenix Graduate School of Education. After being voted “Outstanding Young Man in America,” for two consecutive years, Brian was appointed “Artist in Residency” to the Texas Commission on the Arts by George W. Bush.
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