I think you are sharing with us the story of your
learning as you have experimented with forms of assessment with your Art
As I read through your paper I was left in no doubt as
to the passion and excitement you have experienced in undertaking this piece of
research. Therefore, I can imagine that your work has had substantial influence
on your practice with regard to assessment and your understanding of it. I perceive
that your ideas regarding assessment are fairly ground-breaking and so
therefore, your work and the theory you are in the process of generating, is potentially
quite significant for colleagues and even policy in your place of work. Therefore,
we cannot underestimate the significance of your project.
However, I’m not getting as clear a picture as I’d
like of your work. I can only get a sense of these achievements. I think you clearly
know what you have done, but as your reader, I find the account a little too
vague. I think you need to remember that you are telling your story to those of
us who want to learn from you but who weren’t with you in your school and are
not familiar with your story and, indeed, who are not familiar with your system
of education. Don’t forget to tell us readers what exactly happened from the
outset: what was wrong in your practice; why was this making you uncomfortable;
what did you plan to do; what actually happened; what did you learn and what
was the relevance of your project?
specifically, I think, in your next draft, you could provide your readers with much
more data or evidence to show what you did; to outline what happened and to
describe what you learned. This data could also help to support your claims.
You appear to have collated large quantities of data but, to date, you have
presented very little of it in your text or appendices. I suggest that you
should bring your data right into your paper because not only will it strengthen
your case, it will all paint a more in-depth picture of your story in a more
convincing manner. Your data and the evidence you present will toughen up your
story and give it a robust supporting framework.
You need also bring your awareness of the role your values play into the story of your
learning, more explicitly. As a reader I can sense them, I think, but for
publication they need to be stated more overtly and clearly. I think it might
be worthwhile to clarify for yourself and your reader, what exactly your values
are, at the outset. Then, you can use them as the foundation upon which you
build your research, and tell the unfolding story of your learning. Tell us
more about your concerns around the assessment system as it stands and why this
system contravenes the values you espouse (as I imagine it does!).
Maybe you could tell us a little more about the literature with which you have engaged
in the process of your learning? Do you agree or disagree with it and how has
it influenced your thinking?
I think you could use your values to help you draw up
the criteria or living standards of judgement
by which you evaluate the veracity of your claim, as is often the practice in academic
accounts of living educational theory. I think you could state these criteria
more overtly in your paper. Perhaps you
could tell us some more about how you have found that you are living more
closely in the direction of your values ( or not) as your research progresses? And
again, these claims should be substantiated by hard evidence so as to make them
stand up to the scrutiny of the most sceptical reader.
I am going to ‘borrow’ Swaroop’s comments and add just
a little to one or two of them (Swaroop's words are in italics):
What is my concern?
· Why am I
concerned? [What are my values and how do I perceive that I am not living as closely
to them as I would like, at this time?]
· What am I
going to do about it?’ [What plan will I make? What are the criteria or living
standards of judgement that I establish for myself to benchmark that I am
working more closely to the values I hold?]
I recommend having a look at this short video
clip of Jack Whitehead talking about having difficulties living to his values
as a young teacher- it is less than two minutes long- but it captures how he experienced
himself as a ‘living contradiction’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcqYIlhnxWA
Like Joy, I will send not on my marked-up text,
because Swaroop has picked up on a lot of the points I had questioned myself.
However, I would make the following specific points:
Just checking that you
are careful in using the name of your school, if this is not a fictional name. Have
you checked ethical expectations and permissions with all relevant bodies.
I would like a clearer
explanation of more ‘local’ terms such as ‘First Nations students’, ‘First
Nations students’ issues’ as well as ‘collaborative creation of rubrics’. Yes,
I know what you are talking about, but I think it would make for easier reading
if the terms were explained briefly.
While you are clearly
familiar with Dweck’s work, I think a short explanation, for those who have not
read it, would be helpful.
You state ‘We as a class
decided…’, but it would be very helpful if you tell your readers (especially practising
teachers) how this happened. Who suggested what and was the decision made?
I am suggesting that you
might consider using more headings on sections of your paper so as to signpost
to your readers what they will encounter in that section.
Kelly, I think this is an exciting story and indeed,
one that must be told. I think you have done a lot of the hard work already but
I also think you need to work some more on your draft because your account
needs to be more robust and your ideas need to be formulated more rigorously.
Remember that you are aiming to convince the most cynical of readers of the
authenticity and importance of your work and you need to use every weapon or
artefact that you have at your disposal to do this.
Thank you for sharing your text. Be sure to get
back to me if you are unclear about my comments. I am looking forward greatly
to your next draft.
With all best wishes,