Origins of Assessment – Part 3: The Myth of the Metals

The Context of Schooling: 1905-1950

As compulsory school attendance was more rigorously enforced towards the end of the nineteenth century, this led to a much more socially and culturally diverse student population in schools. Educators and school boards continued to use written tests to evaluate pupils and schools, but while testing was seen as useful for identifying which students were succeeding or failing, many acknowledged its shortcomings in explaining why different students performed well or poorly. Educators and policy-makers acknowledged that characteristics such as intelligence, ambition, socio-economic status, race, and ethnicity influenced students’ academic performance, however they lacked the statistical knowledge to weigh the relative impacts of each of these variables. Continue reading “Origins of Assessment – Part 3: The Myth of the Metals”

Origins of Assessment – Part 2: All That Counts Shall Be Counted

The Context of Schooling: 1845-1905

The educational reforms that took place in Canada in the 1840s echoed those that took place in the United States. In 1837, Massachusetts became the first state in America to establish a Board of Education, headed by reformer Horace Mann. Mann advocated for reforms such as age-graded classrooms, uniform textbooks, teacher training, comprehension-based learning (rather than emulation), school inspections, and the application of statistics to schools. In Canada, similar reforms were advocated by Egerton Ryerson, which culminated in the Common School Act of 1846. Continue reading “Origins of Assessment – Part 2: All That Counts Shall Be Counted”

Rethinking Education at the 9th Ontario Education Research Symposium

Alisa Acosta OERS14

Over the past two days I’ve had the privilege of attending the 2014 Ontario Education Research Symposium; an event whose purpose was to bring practitioners, researchers, and policy-makers into conversation about some of the system-wide challenges facing Ontario’s schools.  With its emphasis on evidence-based applied research, the symposium enabled participants to transcend institutional silos and engage in knowledge exchange with a variety of relevant, multi-disciplinary educational stakeholders. Continue reading “Rethinking Education at the 9th Ontario Education Research Symposium”

Links to Practice: Metadiscourse of 9-year-olds

As part of my GA experience, I have been assisting with various studies in a local elementary school surrounding the use of Knowledge Building Environments to enhance student learning in science.  One of the goals of Knowledge Building is to engage students in self-mediated discussions where they pose questions, postulate theories and provide evidence to explain scientific phenomena that they have observed either inside or outside the classroom.  Their ideas are posted to an online environment in the form of scaffolded “notes” or drawings.  Once posted, they can be treated as artefacts or “idea objects” which can then be read, annotated and built-upon by other classmates. Continue reading “Links to Practice: Metadiscourse of 9-year-olds”

SMT Technology Forum Panel Discussion

On Monday, November 26, 2012 the OISE Centre for Science, Mathematics, and Technology (SMT) posed the question “What will schools look like in 25 years” to Technology Forum panelists Clare Brett, Jim Hewitt, Alexandra Makos, Marlene Scardamalia, Jim Slotta and Earl Woodruff.  Although the focus of the panel was on technology in education, it remained salient throughout the discussions that technology was the enabler, rather than the cause, of some of the key structural and pedagogical shifts occurring both within the K-12 context and higher ed.   Continue reading “SMT Technology Forum Panel Discussion”

Education 2.0

The following video was created for one of my graduate courses at OISE (KMD2003 “Technology and Education,” taught by Megan Boler).  This video represents my first attempt at stop-motion (which was a challenge in itself!).  This medium allowed me to engage in “conversation” with renowned educators, vis-a-vis my claymation figures, by parsing/re-mixing some of their online speeches/TED talks and inserting my own voice into the mix.   Continue reading “Education 2.0”

Representation, meaning, and language

In his interview with Eve Bearne, Gunther Kress argues that literacy is “that which is about representation” (Kress, in Bearne, 2005, p. 288).  Because “literacy” implies something that is mediated through text, in my previous post I questioned the idea of what constitutes a “text.” After further consideration, I feel that representation is the key; therefore, for the purposes of this post I have decided to pursue representation a bit further. Continue reading “Representation, meaning, and language”

Stop me when this becomes a text…

According to Walter Ong (2002), the word “text” etymologically stems from the root meaning “to weave.”  Robert Bringhurst further elaborates on this ancient metaphor whereby thought was considered a thread and the raconteur was the spinner of yarns, “but the true storyteller, the poet, was a weaver.  “The scribes made this old and audible abstraction into a new and visible fact.  After long practice, their work took on such an even, flexible texture that they called the written page a textus, which means cloth” (Bringhurst, 2004). Continue reading “Stop me when this becomes a text…”

My Philosophy of Inquiry

I had to complete this questionnaire as part of a research methods course, but I thought it would also serve as an appropriate introduction to myself and this blog:

1.) Should we view social reality as objective, external to people’s awareness, or should we view it as social constructs built up from the actions, experiences and perceptions of people? Briefly explain your answer.

Continue reading “My Philosophy of Inquiry”