Broadly, two mindsets have been competing for the direction of learning.
Classic mindsets: the quantitative, data-driven mindset and the qualitative, human-driven mindset.
And, clearly, one mindset has been winning.
Equally clear is the pedagogical cost of that mindset’s march toward elusive victory. Oh, and the psychological cost.
The pedagogical cost of the data-driven mindset directing the learning process is that administrators and teachers — those who want to keep their jobs — feel compelled to more-or-less teach to the test. This mind-numbing pedagogy confuses the means (learning) with the ends (assessment of learning). Further, this driven-by-test-data-rather-than-individualized-human-development pedagogy alienates an increasingly vast swath of potential learners, the marginally invested to at-risk students. These are the students who, stereotypically, could care less about what their scores mean to society. These are also the students who most need to be connected to their learning.
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