March 9, 2021
By: Jennifer Nelson
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“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” – Marcus Aurelius
I want everyone to do well on whatever path they choose, but when it comes to tutoring for exams, it gets tricky for me. That is because my role is not so much about helping the students grow in the subject area – it is about teaching them how to pass the test.
Yet if that is all that I do, it could put a damper on their natural curiosity and expressive intelligence. Furthermore, I don’t agree with using intentionally confusing and incoherent questions as a method of assessing skills. But, I will always help my learners to the best of my ability.
So what can be done about the need to “teach to the test”? In my opinion, schools do well with what they were intended to do. If widespread changes are to be made, then the change needs to be foundational. That requires evaluating the original intent of the entire structure.
If a gap needs to be bridged between teaching-to-the-test and teaching for mastery; then it needs to be recognized that the gap is actually between people’s hard-coded beliefs on what is important; vs. what is important on a practical level.
What is the difference between a student who does poorly in school, is constantly labeled as undesirable due to that, and then lives up to that expectation; vs. a student with the same experience but they defy that conditioning?
It would be interesting to evaluate if the difference lies in inner reserves, or if somewhere along the line someone encouraged the person to drop the negative self-labeling.
Practically speaking, it’s a better use of energy to build the foundation one wants to see as opposed to trying to change something that functions as intended. That’s why parents need to have choices as far as how their children are educated; and concerned educators need to be brave enough to create the changes they wish to see via their own structures.
The intent of this newsletter is to increase awareness of available educational options in order to encourage environments where students can align to their true gifts and talents.
When people are aligned to their true nature and in touch with their loving hearts, they are able to co-create a harmonious world.
What’s the Point of Learning?
A student has a passion for something. They want to study it, but fear it will be a waste of time because they can’t get a job in this area.
This discussion stood out to me because:
- You don’t need to attend a university in order to study something.
- The purpose of learning shouldn’t be to get a job.
Furthermore, sometimes people use formal education credentials to compensate for feeling empty inside. In some cases we try to boost our self esteem and prove that we are valuable. But in reality, everyone is inherently valuable and we don’t need an external authority to validate that.
What would the world look like if we taught children to love themselves, to recognize their value and to learn the true meaning of SELF esteem?
Schools Ditch Exam Proctoring Software
Some schools are getting rid of the exam proctoring software Proctorio due to concerns. Apparently the software, “surveils test takers through their computer cameras and microphones, then uses artificial intelligence to measure their “abnormalities”.
In November I wrote the following about exam-proctoring software in general, “As time progresses I hope that people will discover the power in asserting “I do not consent”‘
Privacy-violating AI tools aren’t necessary in order to stop cheating. Simply make your tests open book and structured so that student has to demonstrate their understanding. Another option would be to ditch the exams in favor of some type of project or presentation.
Teaching Emotional Regulation
Here’s a discussion on ideas for teaching children emotional regulation. I think that this should be a regular practice – not just something that’s done when there’s an issue.
Some suggestions are teaching self reflection skills, journaling, mindfulness activities, EFT tapping, workbooks for emotional skills, and sensory toys.
May we all find the tools we need to soothe our hearts.
Remember to love yourself and to always follow your inner guidance. Therefore, take what resonates and discard the rest.
Feel free to forward this to anyone that you think will find it valuable.
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