Each of my 3 online world history courses begins next week. IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO JOIN!
This has been an incredible journey. From the very beginning of creating the History Revealed curriculum, I wanted to see students free to enjoy the process of learning, even in their evaluations and assessments.
Enjoy the process of learning
On one memorable occasion, after I spoke to a group of homeschool parents in Idaho, the other speaker for the night got up and said, “Basically, I disagree with everything that woman said.” He went on to describe his view of parenting/educating: “Children develop perseverance—even if they are crying—as they learn their math facts.”
I beg to disagree: when we push and coerce them so much that it reduces them to tears, they don’t learn perseverance. They learn to hate math.
On the other hand, when students enjoy the process of learning, they will work far harder than we would have dared to demand—because it’s THEIR choice, THEIR interest, THEIR motivation.
It was radical then. It is radical now.
So, here I am, finalizing this year's courses, bringing the elements of my curriculum into an online class structure. And that priority remains as I consider, “In what way can this be presented so that students taking the class have a structure (which provides them security and clarity) AND freedom (which invites them into the wonder of learning)?"
The answer is that it is the same path we laid out years ago.
Phase One — Introduce them to the time period and talk about it together. Phase Two — Invite them to explore and discover, and then share it.
Phase Three — Taste and see the culture, the technology, the geography. Phase Four — Welcome their creative expressions in a final presentation.
It's still the path, but in the online class, I will be able to share new thoughts and insights about each era. And, in the creative work the students will be doing, we will ALL discover fresh and dynamic ways of seeing the time period.
Enjoy the process of evaluation
In order to evaluate and assess the work of these students, I am delighted to be using specific rubrics for each kind of project and presentation—from a written report to a choreographed dance, from a T-shirt design to a comedic sketch, from a mapping project to a tasty dinner. This allows students to enjoy the process of evaluation and assessment!
To explain the place of rubrics in the evaluation process, let me share how my late mentor, Rosalie Pedder explained it:
Gather together three or four friends, and have a piece of candy ready as prize for the Best Dressed Award. Don’t tell them what you are looking for though. Now let them score themselves on these things:
- wearing lace-up shoes
- wearing a ring on right hand
- wearing something with red in outside clothing
- wearing a watch with a white face
- wearing some clothing with a zipper
Now give the prize to whoever had the highest score. Ask for the group’s comments about the process. Obviously, it is quite unjust to award a prize when the criteria are not known.
Why is it unfair? If we knew the criteria by which we are being assessed, we, too, could score 5 out of 5, and more than one of us could get that candy. Good assessment practices result in more people achieving the goal!
Achieving the Goal
Isn’t that incredible?? It makes so much sense! And, now I am having the joy of using rubrics for all the incredibly diverse choices students might make for projects and presentations.
And, if you have been wondering, YES, there is still room. YES, there is still time. Enroll your high school student today for this amazing journey we are about to take.