Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Imperfection

Learning occurs best when we understand that there are many right answers to most real-life kinds of problems.  (You can picture here a Buddhist monk with folded hands now saying, “Grasshopper”.) 

Learning environments that allow for mistakes to be made safely, for corrections to be an assumption, where complexity is the norm, where imperfect (but improved) prototyping is the standard menu are the best ones for optimization of learning.

No essay (or blog post) is perfect.  
No experiment is flawlessly replicable. 
No project stands as the sole exemplar. 
No performance is without room for polishing.  

Somehow, conditions and contexts always impose themselves on the environment and the outcomes, making solutions to real-world problems elusive and chock full of variation.  

Only in using tightly restrictive, simply answered, carefully controlled “testing” systems can we declare one's work “perfect.”  These results are most often declared on standardized assessments, with limited answer options, and easily agreed upon “correct” answers.  

Oversimplified but easily graded assessments/evaluations are dilutions of authentic learning, not manifestations of authentic learning.  


Such is not the way of life, living, work, or art.  Imperfect, but improving IS.

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