Friday, 3 February 2012

If it can't be measured it doesn't count

In the school system, and I would suggest in many other institutions and businesses, we are constantly told that if we can't measure it we shouldn't put it in our long term plans for improvement. We often do the same thing in our classrooms. If we struggle to work out how we can attach a percentage or grade to a students learning we often discount that learning by not reporting on it. My personal opinion is that we have gone too far this way. I agree to be able to measure something and see growth/improvement is very useful. But if we only ever base success around the things that provide numerical data we are missing some very important things. The following quote sums this up nicely. 

"Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts". Albert Einstein

Schools need to be careful that they do not discount things like student well being, mentoring, student motivation, camps, the Arts, recess (in the U.S.A. some schools cut recess), physical activity etc..... in favour of putting more time into the things that are more easily measured and seen as more traditional measures of student success.

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