Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Higher Order Thinking

In a post by Joe Bower entitled "Poor pedagogy + Technology = Accelerated Malpractice", he responds to comments he received when he criticised a teacher who posted about using google docs to create tests.

The debate is quite lively and Joe really digs deep to defend his point that creating google docs tests is not a twenty first century idea. According to Joe, true-false content tests are just another example of out-dated assessment tactics in a teacher centered classroom (my words).

He tells the story from a Kohn book where a surgeon from a century ago visits a modern operating room and would feel quite confused. A teacher from 1oo years ago visiting a modern classroom would feel right at home. Bower makes the point that it is our job to speak out and to recognize the old and tired from the new. He quotes Kohn:

"all that is necessary for the triumph of damaging educational policies is that good educators keep silent"

And Gerald Bracey:

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all."

At our school, we have just come up with a goal for our technology initiative. We came up with the following:

"students will develop and practise higher order thinking skills (will be knowledge producers)"

We are quite proud of our goal as it is student centered, pedagogically based, as old as Piaget and 21st century as well. Notice that it doesn't even mention technology?!

Creating tests with google docs is a great idea. Does it change the classroom?

How about using microsoft publisher, web 2.0, blogging, web pages, e-books?

What is your school's goal with technology?

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