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  • Writer's pictureIan Wells

Learning by doing, not studying is not new

Updated: Dec 3, 2018

In a previous post, I opined the best way to learn is to do. Of course  this is not a new idea at all ( talk to any musician or athlete!).  

In 2001, here is what Seymour Papert had to say about project, action oriented learning  in the American education system: 

On what assessment should look like in a project-oriented classroom or school.

We should be measuring, of course. But we should be measuring different things. We should be measuring the diversity. We should be measuring how schools are changing. We should be measuring what kids can do with knowledge, not how many right answers they can give to questions.

So, I’ve been working, in fact, with people in testing. In fact, in the last year I’ve been a “visiting distinguished scholar” they call me, at the College Board, which is the organization that creates and supervises these tests. And I’m working with some people there on a concept of where you would incorporate your assessment into the carrying out of projects.

So we’ll assess kids by what they do. Now this is not totally original. The idea of using portfolios and being able to have something other than a multiple choice/right-wrong question as a way of assessment is around. A lot of work’s been done on it. And I think fundamentally that’s right.

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