Friday, December 18, 2009

Outcomes Based Education devaluing progress

One key issue with OBE was the devaluation of progress in outcomes not being immediately assessed. Combine this with marking that isn't normalised and it can demoralise a student.

For instance, a student starts totally disengaged and gradually becomes more involved with the classroom. The outcome for lessons are not achieved. The child does not achieve NAPLAN results. The child again gets an E for the term despite making large amounts of progress socially.

The main feedback for the student is that effort has no reward and he again becomes disengaged. The feedback for the teacher is that putting effort into a student like this is not worthwhile, more tangible/measurable results can be found with students that are already on learning paths. It is not fair, equitable or motivating for either party.

It is this sort of logic that we as a profession are facing at the moment and this is something that we need to consider if we still want an inclusive education system. We are heading towards a system where students that do not fit into mainstream profiles are being farmed into alternate programmes as they fall farther and farther behind, with little incentive for schools to investigate issues and try to re-integrate students.

I'm sure that this is not the right thing to do.

Sometimes as teachers we need to look at the whole picture and realise that we are achieving great things even when the measured results do not show them (especially when standardised reports don't measure what we are teaching!) - the seeds we plant in students may not germinate for many years yet are still worthwhile - a message may take many iterations to become active, developmentally change often requires multiple iterations by multiple people to become successful.

1 comment:

  1. OBE was just as demoralising for teachers as it was for students


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