Group members: Frankie, Mark, Brandon, Mychael, Angela
1. When teaching methods are introduced, why must innovative ways to assess student work follow, according to Davidson? (Hint: See page 122-123)
When you change the teaching method, the old method of grading may not accurately assess the student’s knowledge appropriately.
2. Where did grading potentially come from and what were the activities worthy to assess? What American school used letter grades? What kind of assessment method became known as “the symbol of American education” and when was it introduced? (Hint: See pages 129-130)
Letter grading may potentially have started at Cambridge University, with numerical or letter grades supplementing written comments on compositions in a few cases by a few dons sometime at the end of the eighteenth century. Yale was one of the first American universities to implement letter grades, public schools started to use them in 1897. The multiple-choice test became the symbol of American education in 1914.
3. If current modes of assessment generated from the 20th century “assembly-line model,” then what model should a 21st century modes of assessment be derived from? (Hint: See page 131)
For assessment, Davidson thinks we should stop using end of the year grade exam. She thinks testing should be more flexible and have more variety. It should be casual and carry less weight, such as a smaller impact on the overall grade.
4. “College is a place to learn how to educate oneself rather than a place in which to be educated” (134). Do you agree or disagree with Kelly’s statement? Why?
I agree to that, as a student, you must be able to
5. What is ultimately the problem with standardized testing, according to Davidson? (Hint: see page 141). How does Cohen and Rosenweig’s H-Bot show that “search functions on Google have rendered the multiple-choice form of testing obsolete” (143)? What do these findings lead Davidson to suggest for changes to assessment practices? (Hint: see page 144-148)
The problem with standardized testing is that it doesn’t teach creative thinking and critical problem solving. This may be shown by the H-BOT, which was created by a student that searched algorithms able to read test questions and browse the internet for answers. The H-BOT was able to score 82% on a National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) that was designed for fourth graders. Davidson says that, she would first stop, immediately, the end-of-grade exams in public schools because the tests are irrelevant to the student’s actual learning needs.
Chapter 7 The Changing Worker
1. What two things does Davidson say we need in order to “succeed at work in the future” (236)?
Collaboration and Context (Page 220, Nook) — changing our point of view can mean the difference between problem and opportunity.
2. The discussion about Specialisterne workers suggest a different approach to labor and views toward disability (238- 239). What is it that this company is doing that is drawing attention? Why does Davidson suggest that it serves as “a metaphor for work in the future” (240)?
They employ autistic workers in quality assurance. The autistic employees are not bored by the repetitive nature of code analysis. This is an excellent example of collaboration and context–where other employers might see a disabled worker, Specialisterne found a group who thrives where others struggle. Sonne tries to structure assignments and work spaces to the particular needs of his employees. Trying to “force everybody into one mold… Just causes stress, and workplaces already produce too much of that.”
3. “What is relevant in a new, decentralized world of work may not even be a skill for which we know how to measure or test” (242). What are the parallels between work and education, based on what you learned about changes needed for education and assessment?
Wayne Gretzky did not test better than other hockey players in any of the detailed analyses–he was better than other players because he could predict the position of the puck and the movements of other players, allowing him to start moving before anyone else.
The inability to measure something does not mean it does not exist. In this example there is evidence that there is not a way to measure one’s ability to be successful in a workplace without placing the student in a productive work environment. Tactile learning is different from book learning. The experience of touching and feeling the ice and watching other players cannot be expressed or measured by traditional methods of education, but it is still a real skill. A necessary part of being successful.
4. What makes FutureWork’s approach to work unique (244)?
Check out their website at: http://www.futureworkinstitute.com/
Taking life desires into account, not just work ambitions. Some people like 80 hour work weeks. Others perform better working 25. The flexibility to change with life’s requirements can be important as people raise children and deal with health issues. They seek to take the pre-industrial model where people shaped their work around their life, and bring into the post-industrial era.
5. Do you agree that “[w]orkers have changed more than workplaces” (247). Why or why not?
I agree, the information age has really allowed people to begin thinking more creatively and this is beginning to spread. People are changing to be more flexible about where they can add to their work environment. Entrepreneurship is becoming more valued, no longer is it enough to fit into one title. It’s more important to fit into many categories with a range of skills than it is to fit only one title. It’s easier to be more successful if you have more than a single skill, and in turn that makes the workplace shift from isolated cubicles to pods and rolling chairs.
6. DIY and Do It Together drives the work structure so unique for Wikipedia (252-253). What are these two concepts and what does it mean for the Wikipedia workplace? (Hint: See pages 252-255)
DIY and Do It Together are the two methods for getting things done. They indicate a balance between meeting personal goals on one’s own, and working together, collaboratively to meet a goal. For Wikipedia it is a structure that largely uses crowdsourcing for its informational entries. Users are not required to be certified experts on the subject in order to contribute to its bank of data. Though there are experts and employees of Wikipedia who monitor the information for errors, it largely relies on users to fill its pages, much like the world wide web.
7. Davidson cites three principles that make for a successful workplace (258-259). What are they? Have you worked in a job that embraced one or all of these? What were the results? What example does Davidson provide to illustrate them? (Hint: See pages 262-267)
1) How we think about ourselves.
2) How we view our future at any age.
3) How we imagine aging in the future.
The best example of embracing these principles is the CMDC program. It offers a chance to make some great connections and fill a multitude of roles. There is a range of disciplines offered, and the extent of a student’s involvement is only limited by the students themselves. The program reaches further than just our campus, it stretches into the community and gets involved in putting on exhibits and attending city functions. It encourages collaboration and entrepreneurship and provides opportunities for the students to exercise those skills to effect change on the world. Davidson talks about the CEO of Proximity hotel and how he was a businessman, a developer, and entrepreneur.