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Living Loz
I owe my parents exactly $770 from University. After that, we're just good friends... 
15th-Mar-2006 04:26 pm
Loz Cola
As I am sitting in class after having handed my draft Unit Plan up, my tutor starts discussing forms of assessment - and is completely and totally disparaging about the use of Portfolios. Guess what assessment strategy Miss Loz has employed in her Unit Plan? Yes, you guessed correctly.

Great. Just great. Greatness.

It isn't my only assessment strategy, but it's there. And she also goes on to talk about the Food Pyramid and how teachers use the Food Pyramid and students never come away understanding it the way they should. I can feel my eye twitching.

I'm going to go crawl into my hole in the wall now.
Comments 
15th-Mar-2006 06:15 am (UTC)
It's not too late to change things isn't it? And maybe it's just her personal preference. Maybe you can ask other experienced people for their opinions?
15th-Mar-2006 06:19 am (UTC)
It isn't too late to change, it's just that I really wanted to make use of portfolios.

*sigh*

All of the literature I have read (which we've been recommended to read) has described portfolios as positive things, but she basically said they're a waste.

15th-Mar-2006 07:17 am (UTC)
Well, she has read the literature herself, hasn't she? She could have warned you beforehand.
15th-Mar-2006 08:53 am (UTC)
Yes, she must have.

And I completely agree. I wish she'd said something before.
15th-Mar-2006 08:46 am (UTC)
Your tutor sounds like she doesn't know what she's talking about. Or like she's bringing too much of her own opinion into the whole thing.
15th-Mar-2006 08:54 am (UTC)
Thank you.

I agree.
15th-Mar-2006 12:24 pm (UTC)
I agree with this as well, especially since there's literature saying portfolios are good.
15th-Mar-2006 08:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

And it would be a lot better if it was just her opinion. But that counts, because she's marking my work and supervising me on my prac.
15th-Mar-2006 06:22 am (UTC)
Assessment strategy-- phoo! Use a hidden camera system and two trays of snacks- junk food on one and fruit on the other. After the kids complete the unit, set out the trays with the camera trained on them. Any kid who chooses a banana gets full marks and everyone who goes for a Mars Bar gets a fail.

When I taught about a food pyramid, it was all about how there have to be a lot of plants and plant eaters in an ecosystem (at the bottom of the pyramid) to support the few-in-number predators (at the top of the pyramid.)
15th-Mar-2006 08:36 am (UTC)
You just made my whole day :D
15th-Mar-2006 04:30 pm (UTC)
Authentic assessment, Baby.
15th-Mar-2006 01:21 pm (UTC)
o_O Does it worry you that the person teaching you how to design Unit plans hasn't realised that telling you what she wants BEFORE collecting it in tends to help..?

Silly lecturer!
15th-Mar-2006 08:32 pm (UTC)
Yes, that does worry me. But since they designed the course in a way that we'd be covering a key part of our draft unit plans after we were to hand it up, it wasn't entirely her fault. It was the whole topic's fault.
15th-Mar-2006 10:19 pm (UTC)
So the person teaching how to plan courses didn't plan the course..?
15th-Mar-2006 10:20 pm (UTC)
Nope. There are several tutors.
15th-Mar-2006 05:24 pm (UTC)
What kind of portfolio are you talking about, and what's so bad about them (according to this teacher)? I would tend to agree with the person who said she was simply expressing her own opinion, which doesn't necessarily mean much.

We didn't have a food pyramid when I was a kid, just the four food groups. And even then, it was obvious that industry lobbyists were heavily involved in its creation. I mean, dairy products as their own group? As with most things, I don't think nutrition can be boiled down into any cute geometric shape.
15th-Mar-2006 08:30 pm (UTC)
Ahh, well, you see, it sounded like she was condemning yearly portfolios, where any piece of finished work a student does gets put into the portfolio, and sometimes they will even be directed to do work purely for the portfolio. Whereas I want something that's going to be more of a time-capsule/resource which is completely directed, and where draft work is also put.

As with most things, I don't think nutrition can be boiled down into any cute geometric shape.

You're completely right - and it is often individual for the person!

15th-Mar-2006 09:54 pm (UTC)
I seem to recall that, when I was in junior high and high school, we had to put one writing sample into our portfolio every year. There was no case of writing specifically for the portfolio, but we were encouraged to choose our best work.
15th-Mar-2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
See, I figure that as long as it isn't the only thing you use to evaluate learning, it's still useful, you know?

I have these british history projects I did in primary school in England, and they are absolutely brilliant. They rock my socks off. I don't mean the quality, necessarily. I mean what they tell me about myself as a student of that time. I have a clear indication of what my various levels were at that time (handwriting, comprehension, writing skills), and I have a lot of interesting information.

From my schooling in Australia I have nothing from primary school - nothing deemed worth keeping. I even have very little from High School.
16th-Mar-2006 07:08 am (UTC)
See, I figure that as long as it isn't the only thing you use to evaluate learning, it's still useful, you know?

Yeah, I know. It's certainly a better indicator than standardized tests, which seem to be the backbone of the American school system nowadays.
16th-Mar-2006 07:12 am (UTC)
Here in South Australia, we have a long history of hating standardised tests and never using them. It's starting to change somewhat... but not much.

I actually think that the occasional standardised test also has a place in assessment - but obviously it should not be the be all and end all (which, as you point out, it is becoming.)
15th-Mar-2006 09:42 pm (UTC)
Seriously, alot of teachers who teach teaching, don't have a lot of idea of what works and what doesn't. And what mightn't work for her, may as well work for you. If you know what you are doing and you know a way to implement something, then you can pull it off with success. You should never avoid an approach, because one person says it isn't a good one. As for the food pyramid, yeah, she's right, of course some kids would come away completely confused- IF you didn't teach it well enough. But if you model it and teach it in a way that is logical and engaging and appropriate for the audience, you will be fine.
15th-Mar-2006 09:48 pm (UTC)
And you have made today for me.

Thank you!

You're right.
15th-Mar-2006 09:57 pm (UTC)
I am glad, because I know how stressful it all can be, and I have watched friends go through the same thing, and teaching is a trial and error game, and you learn from your mistakes. But you have to give things a go instead of writing them off after one failed attempt. A good teacher learns from the failures and developes another strategy.
15th-Mar-2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
Oh I know we do. I'm always doing that. I don't actually give up all that easily. I'm sure it has something to do with being stubborn.

I was more annoyed than anything. I'm totally willing to adapt. However, if I continue to think how I do about my proposed plan - I'm also willing to argue my case - with quotes from texts and everything :D

15th-Mar-2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
See, and people say being stubborn is a bad thing. NEVER!

Definately, go for it! You will be fine :D
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