Sunday, April 28, 2013

But I taught that!!!

I'm currently reading Embedded Formative Assessment by Dylan William in an effort to get back to the place that I need to be as a professional.

I just finished Chapter 2 and I'm sure I've driven my friends and hubby nuts by posting many quotes from Chapter 2, but this one really hit me...

Teaching is a *contingent* activity. We cannot predict what students will learn as a result of any particular sequence of instruction. Formative assessment involves getting the best possible evidence about what students have learned and then using this information to decide what to do next.

In today's world of high stakes testing, how many of us think of teaching as a "contingent activity"? I know that I'm often stressed about pacing and getting everything done that needs to be done before the End of Course test or the AP exam or etc, etc, etc that I lose focus on that contingency part. My lesson tomorrow should be contingent on what happened today and what my students learned today. It's important that we don't miss the fact that our teaching should be contingent on *what students learned*, not on *what we taught*.

Another quote from this chapter...

Students do not learn what we teach. If they did, we would not need to keep gradebooks. We could, instead, simply record what we have taught. But anyone who has spent any time in a classroom knows that what students learn as a result of our instruction is unpredictable.

I love when a book gives me the "kick in the pants" that I needed! Recently, during the End of Course exam review and AP review, I've been guilty of this type of thinking. I have gotten irritated that students don't remember how to do long division, etc because I taught that! I need to remember that yes, I taught that topic/concept, but that does NOT mean that the students *learned* that topic/concept.

Teaching != Learning

1 comment:

Raymond Johnson said...

If you're interested, there's a whole project called "Contingent Pedagogies":

If you want more information, let me know. There's also a bunch at the Contingent Pedagogies website. Send questions my way - I work for Bill Penuel, and it would do me good to learn more about this, too!