February 2018

Golden Apple

By Diana Knudson

Happy Groundhog’s Day 

Educational Leadership journal is packed with ideas for assessment and takes a look at some of the qualities we should be assessing.  An article written by Bryan Goodwin, president and CEO of McREL and the lead author of Balanced Leadership for Powerful Learning has an article titled “Measuring What’s Inside.“   “A study of 5000 students in the 1980’s found that one key attribute—follow through in high school activities was more predictive of student success that any other variable examined.  It did not matter if the area where the student demonstrated persistence was chess or cheerleading, just that they stuck with something for four years, demonstrating growth, and moving into a leadership role (Goodwin, Measuring What’s Inside, pp. 80-81, Feb. 2018).

“Many of the factors that seem to drive student success reflect various forms of intrinsic motivation.  It seems strange that we seldom measure or track students’ intrinsic motivation—despite the fact that a meta-analysis of factors related to students’ achievement (Marzano, 2000) found that student interest and motivation accounted for more of the variance in student achievement than teacher quality. Yet according to a longitudinal study (Gottfried, Fleming, & Gottfried, 2001), the longer students stay in school the less motivated they are to learn in their core subjects.  Just at the time students’ coursework ought to engage them and become so much more rich and interesting, they grow less curious, less active as learners, and less able to find meaning in their learning.  What do we do?  Just as alarming, research shows that personality characteristics, including persistence, account for four times the effect on student success than does IQ (Goodwin, Measuring What’s Inside, pp.81, Feb. 2018).

Possibly, the new frontier of educational measurement will not only focus on academics but also the personality characteristics that could make such a difference.  If you would like to read any of the articles on assessment in February’s Educational Leadership, check with your administrators.  Most often, they receive this monthly publication. 

Let us have a drawing the end of February for a $100 gift card.  Send your name to Brianna (Brianna@gtccmt.org).  Your odds of winning are much better for this drawing than it will ever be for the lottery.

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