In Parts 1 & 2 of “The Classroom Experiment” Dylan Wiliam, author of “Embedded Formative Assessment” sets up an experimental school classroom. He works with teachers and students in grade 8 to test simple ideas that he believes could improve the quality of the student’s education. His research paper “Inside the Black Box” is cited in much current assessment literature.
Part 2 continues with teachers implementing classroom strategies to engage students. What intrigued me about Part 2 is the grading practices that teachers employed. They did not give students grades but instead focused on good feedback. While difficult for some students who really, really were attached to grades, eventually they understood the value of feedback and began to take responsibility for improving their performance. It really brought me back to the title of this blog….a quote by Dylan. “Smart is not something you are. Smart is something you get!” Wise words I think!!
These two hours are well worth the watch. It gives us both student and teacher perspective on the important topics of engagement and grading. What is even better is that at the end of the videos we find out that the whole staff is going to adopt these ideas. That to me is progress!