I’ve never been one to toe the line: my automatic reaction to being told I must do something is to say no, and I spend way longer looking for ways to thwart bureaucracy than obeying its diktats. And I loathe those trite children’s colouring books – ugh. So when I woke up this morning to find two wonderful pieces of writing: Coloring Outside the Lines by Maha and then COLOURING OUTSIDE THE LINES – REFLECTIONS INSPIRED BY MAHA BALI’S POST by Tania I was thrilled.
They both talk, in their different ways, about the problems of how we assess student learning – Maha (writing about her three year old) notes that:
In a school entry assessment they ask kids to color something in and i am pretty sure they are checking for fine motor skills of coloring inside the lines
While Tania says that:
My youngest failed a cognitive test when he was three because he didn’t complete a drawing like he was supposed to.
Wow – three years old and already failures. Something’s going wrong here. Very wrong.
These pieces made me think about the problem of designing authentic assessment. Instead of looking at all of the creative, interesting things that learners can do, all too often the focus is placed upon what it is easy to assess. And, by so doing, we remove the fun from learning and (all too often) turn it into training.