Saturday, December 11, 2010

A New Standard

Provoked by yesterday's lunch meeting with LLK, Barry Fishman, and Marlene Scardamalia, I had a dream about a new set of standards. I know there's a huge literature about standards, and I don't know what it says, but I think that if we're going to have serious and meaningfully testable standards we've got to move out of the dark ages of the silly testing of tiny byproducts of real learning. Hundreds of years ago the U.S. constitution (among others), whether you love it or not, was written in a style that the most modern of any widely enacted public education standards in our country could quiver standing next to, with it's reflexivity, self-modifiability, and forward thinking of balancing power with power and power with rights (for white men everywhere!)

Here's a first attempt at a list of 10 new standards that can reign down on school children everywhere:
1. The ability to recognize whether a test is evaluating far-reaching contextualized skill sets derived from lived experience and involving the ability to accomplish real world goals that represent a broad spectrum of human activity, and the tandem ability to effectively refute and refuse a test that does not meet this rigorous condition.
2. The ability to work with people who have navigated the learning landscape previously to identify personal motivators, unique to each individual, and choose a pathway through the learning landscape that coincides with a high level of personal motivational learning that discards the idea of retention in favor of transformation and journey.
3. The ability to learn new real (note: real means not simulated) systems and languages in unfamiliar real situations, and the ability to revitalize and maintain an old real system in a known real situation over long periods of time, sometimes under conditions necessitating vast collaborations in the context of variously sized organizations.

I left 4 through 10 blank for others to fill in.

Let the teaching to the test begin!