WEEK 7     Criteria Chart     Class Summary

Class Summary

I hope you are not too swamped as the end of the quarter approaches!


This week we got a little bit of a wider perspective on standards and the theories that lie behind their use. Thus, many of the approaches we discussed did not seem to focus as much on economic benefits. Several seemed to build on the fact that having standards, aligned assessments, and appropriate accountability makes for a more powerful and efficient organization, and seemed to indicate that if only such a system were created, other changes would follow. However, the District #2 example suggested that focusing the organization around professional development and the creation of professional community is a key to improvements, with the establishment of standards an important but secondary part of the process. None seemed to be guided by any specific theories about learning and development (although, ostensibly, the New Standards Project work was based on findings and research on higher-order thinking and problem-solving).

We also discussed the criteria we would use to judge whether a program or approach was worthwhile.

For this week:

Please read the the project descriptions in the projects folder so you have a general sense of what everyone is doing. For class, please be prepared to discuss one or two issues or questions you are working on (or perhaps struggling with) for your project. For example, you might be unsure of the theory of learning underlying the student work or curriculum of a particular approach; you might want help teasing out whether there are conflicting theories reflected in what's written about an approach and in the way it has actually been implemented; or you might have some questions about how a particular approach is likely to be received by a particular audience or community. Again, please bring handouts or other materials that will help us to understand the issue and that may give us something to work with in helping you address them.

For the final class, please come prepared to share your overall assessment of the strength and weaknesses of the approach you are examining, how it fits into the relevant context (or how it is likley to be received by the audience you are addressing), and your recommendations for improving the approach or for implementing it effectively.

Please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns and feel free to share an outline of your report with me if you think that would be helpful.

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c. 2000, Thomas Hatch, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  All the material contained on this site has been produced by Thomas Hatch or other authors as noted. These materials can be downloaded, printed, and used with proper acknowledgement, including the name and affiliation of the author and the web-site address.