Knowing and Understanding

by Matthew Koslowski on August 12, 2009
in Essays

“A hunter left his cabin and hiked two miles south, turned and hiked two miles west, shot a bear, and hiked two miles north back to his cabin. What color was the bear?”

If you answered, “White,” you gave the right answer. But how did you arrive at the answer?

Educators need to concern themselves as much with how their students arrived at the answer as they concern themselves whether the answer was correct.

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Testing, Assessment, and Feedback

by Matthew Koslowski on July 29, 2009
in Essays

In This Essay

Never Work Harder Than Your Students & Other Principles of Great Teaching by Robyn R. Jackson
Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes by Alfie Kohn
“Feedback as Assessment” by Grant Wiggins

In order to begin sailing at Community Boating, a member needs to earn the Solo Rating. To earn that members need to demonstrate:

  • that they can rig the mainsail on a Cape Cod Mercury by rigging a boat in the slip;
  • and that they have an understanding of how boats move and of the right of way rules by passing an oral quiz, the Solo Test.

Everything one needs to learn to pass the Solo Test is taught in Shore School.

Shore School is a one hour lecture on sailing. A classroom lecture. On land. With a whiteboard. In a bay with wide garage doors that open onto the Charles River and the fleet of boats and, at least we hope, sunshine. Shore School is considered one of the more difficult courses to teach.

Last Thursday, July 23rd, I attended a seminar, “Classroom Management/Learning Styles” at Community Boating so that I can teach Shore School as well as Rigging. Marcin, the seminar presenter, spoke about the teaching style of several of Community Boating’s Shore School teachers. One stood out.

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