Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Professional Development End Game

As I mentioned in The Other Side of the Coin post, I have heard repeated calls to assess CBL-- particularly our school's Dallas Team pilot.  On the one hand this is ironic, because no educational venture at our school has been more studied and transparent.  And on the other hand,  the call is premature since the majority of our teams have not even implemented their plans.  Don't get me wrong, I think CBL needs to be assessed-- but so should the rest of the curriculum.

Consequently, I am asking the teams of staff which are planning new CBL projects to participate in “CBL Pilot 2”at Mercy High.  Since we have plunged into CBL in order to address Tony Wagner's Seven Survival Skills for a New Economy, I have asked the teams to consider how those skills will be assessed by their new CBL projects.

I proposed that we help position our Curriculum Council with a framework for planning and assessing instruction for the Wagner Survival Skills.  The framework would invite assessment of CBL and other forms of instruction.  In other words, CBL would not be scrutinized in isolation.  If CBL does not accomplish what we hope to achieve then we need to change in more effective ways.  But change itself cannot be rejected merely by throwing stones at CBL.  If we are teaching the Survival Skills across our curriculum than any academic department should be able to demonstrate how they are attaining them.

You can see the "End Game" proposal to the CBL teams, below.  Next time, I will describe how we move from this to a (hopefully) serious contemplation of assessment.

Two of my students check out iPod touches.

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