The power of voice…

One of the unintended consequences of re-thinking rubrics  has been uncovering the power of voice.

All too often in assessment we look to the power of written and drawn reflection to gauge students understanding and misconceptions.

Yet voice is just as powerful tool for uncovering hidden attitudes not just in terms of what the children say but also how they say it.

During  a mid-unit reflection, I was disappointed to hear one of my students  had not taken the task seriously. I wondered how much learning had gone on in the unit. Although the words that came out said the right things, how the child was speaking was telling another story.

As the class listened to his reflection, several of the other children pointed out that the child hadn’t shown respect, which was one of the attitudes we were looking to develop during the unit. We agreed that the voice element enabled us to identify a learning need that otherwise would have been hidden.

Perviously this child was quick to finish, not one to give much effort –  he’d mastered the art of the ‘game of school.’ Yet the change of medium had  shaken up his pre-conceptions. At the end of the unit he did something I hadn’t seen all term – he asked for help.

All too often we overlook the learning needs of our ‘high fliers.’ Yet by changing up the medium – powerful learning could occur.

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