kitchen table math, the sequel: project-based assessment at the "Celebration"

Saturday, March 31, 2012

project-based assessment at the "Celebration"

The lead presenter in the Workshop on "project-based assessment" told us that, in college, half the knowledge a "technology major" learns freshman year is obsolete by the middle of sophomore year, so "content doesn't matter."

That is a direct quotation. I wrote it down.

"Content doesn't matter."

Also "technology major."


Catherine Johnson said...

The presenter also said that when you create heterogeneous groups to work on group projects, the students 'differentiate themselves.'

(I can't swear to those words exactly since iPad ate my notes. But that was the jist.)

She said it was hard differentiating instruction to 25 different, individual students, but when you put them all in groups the differentiation just sort of .... happens. That seemed to be the idea.

Catherine Johnson said...

The project assessment workshop was mystifying....(I think I already posted something about this, right - I'm remembering a comment...)

Anyway, it was mystifying because it was VERY hard to tell where the assessment was coming in --- or how, exactly, differentiation was occurring ----

The younger teacher, who taught 3rd grade, said that she had been initially a little worried about trying project-based assessment because she had never done much assessment of the kids at all. But then she realized that she had been assessing all the time because they had been doing group projects all the time (something along those lines).

Someone left a comment saying that the project IS the assessment, and at least based in what I could glean from the workshop, that's consistent with what they said.

I'll look at my handouts from the workshop & see if they gave us rubrics. I think they did....

OrangeMath said...

The presenter spoke in the silly way of 21st Century educators: "just google it" solves problems.

My professors worked very hard to teach "long time constant" information. They would bring this issue up themselves. Yes, information "decays" over time, but not all at the same rate.

Catherine Johnson said...


My friend, who is an attorney, was especially gobsmacked by the idea that knowledge becomes obsolete in a year. In the legal profession new case law is being written every single day (I gather), yet the fundamentals remain.

Catherine Johnson said...

Google has become the curriculum.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if Google became the curriculum. Unfortunately few students have any idea how to search effectively. In part, this is because their vocabularies are so small that they can't come up with relevant key words, and in part it is because they lack the background knowledge and problem-solving skills necessary to refine a query.

This is
Blogger is STILL refusing all comments from wordpress ids.

Glen said...

Yes, ironic how often educational "experts" mention Google as evidence that fact learning no longer matters. Ironic because passing a Google interview requires you to prove that you have a vast amount of technical detail in your head. Google only hires engineers who can answer without googling.

Jen said...

The other little hitch with the "obsolete knowledge" is that how can you compare old to new if you don't know either of them? How would you see the trends in thinking and be able to determine what exactly had changed and which underlying principles remained?

From a friend's facebook comment (she's returned to school to get a master's): Professors keep saying that group projects will help prepare us for the work world. I'm not sure which world they are talking about, because so far group projects in grad school have been nothing like working as part of a team at a job.