Saturday, February 23, 2008

Can every kid get a 7?

A problem arose in my school at the end of last term when I had a group of Year 7's and a group of Year 8's that did outstanding work. The Year 7's (basically 11 year olds) learned to use Microsoft 2007 and my Year 8's (12 year olds) were introduced to PhotoStory 3 and had amazing results. The curriculum was written by me, checked by the MYP Co-ordinator and approved by the Head of the Technology Department who also happens to be the principal.

These kids did great work and had fantastic results. A problem arose when I gave them all 7's (the highest grade) - which they all deserved. This was met with a lot of resistance by the Dept Head/Principal and, although not directely asked to do so I am smart enough to know that I was expected to change the grades and I did so (unhappily/begrudgingly).

I was informed that all kids can't be 7's and if they are then there is something wrong. And I quote,
"They cannot all be achieving level 7 by the end of the course. If they are, it suggests that the demands of the course are not significant enough."

I don't get it - I'm teaching Word 2007 and PhotoStory 3 not Brain Surgery 101 to middle-school aged children. What I saw in those 2 classes was a bunch of little kids following directions, working hard, and having a bit of fun. Sounds like a winning combo to me. In my book, that in and of itself is deserving of a 7.

Somebody has a lot to learn, and I'm not exactly sure who that is . . .

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