The Process, Not the Product

“1. We know that most of our students will forget most of the content that they “learn” in school.”

This is an elephant in our classrooms according to “9 Elephants in the (Class)Room That Should “Unsettle” Us” by Will Richardson. I could not agree more with this statement and I also want to change this elephant in our classrooms. Unfortunately, students forget so much of what they are told in school, I say what they are told in school because learning is to gain or acquire knowledge by study, experience, or being taught, and if they are not actually understanding what is being taught they are simply not learning. I would like to change this statement in my classroom, make sure that what is being taught is understood by all students in different ways. I would love to create a learning environment through hands-on experiences, student lead projects, and different ways of assessment that measure not how much the students appear to be learning but how much they are actually learning. I think that changing the way schools assess students should be a number one priority if we want to change this elephant in the room. What we are using now is mostly test or homework scores and the fact is that not all students learn that way, in fact few do. Creating an environment where students are evaluated on the process rather than the product would be able to make sure students are learning in school and maintaining what they need to know.

These ideas roll nicely into the other elephant that I would strive to change in my classroom someday, “5. We know that grades, not learning, are the outcomes that students and parents are most interested in.” Changing the minds of students, parents, and even school administrators is a daunting task and one that teacher have been trying to do for years, with little success. Too many times parents and students put so much pressure on grades and that simply isn’t helpful in the classroom or the real world. I think that in order to shift this perspective it goes back to how we evaluate students. Making sure all students are able to learn something in whatever way they are strongest in is essential for students to be and feel successful. I have watched so many peers and students get frustrated when they can’t understand a concept that is being taught one way and one way only. They understand most of the information but the way it is being presented is making them feel as if they are not smart enough. I want to be a teacher who encourages all types of learning, assessments, and intelligence’s in my classroom to minimize elephants in my (class)room.

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5 thoughts on “The Process, Not the Product

  1. I like the two points that you addressed here. I like how you said that if they are not understanding the information they are not learning. We can all do great on a test without learning. We memorize what we need to know and then forget about it when we are done. Great post!

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  2. Great points! I completly agree with you when you say that we focus too much on the end product than the actual process. I think we can learn alot by just looking at process throughout the year, rather than just what the end results.

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