"If there is not an inherent attracting power in the material, then.... the teacher will either attempt to surround the material with foreign attractiveness, making a bid or offering a bribe for attention by 'making the lesson interesting', or else will resort to ... low marks, threats of non-[passing].... But the attention thus gained...always remains dependent upon something external.... True, reflective attention, on the other hand, always involves judging, reasoning, deliberation; it means that the [student] has a question of his own and is actively engaged in seeking and selecting relevant material with which to answer it." ~ John Dewey, 1915
I like to think about how far education might come if instruction is built more around Dewey's words and less around standardized testing. We must often build instruction upon the needs of our departments/schools rather than the needs of our learners. As you begin to pull everything together for your course(s), remember Dewey's image: The [student] with a question of his own, seeking answers. Will that describe your learners?
In an idealistic way, is that the basis of evaluation? Did the child have a question and seek the answer? On of my teachers once asked: "If you aren't going to evaluate it, why teach it?" It's a simple enough question. And it seems logical. But what is evaluation?
There are many levels and approaches to evaluation. The pages in this section cover several aspects of the topic. As you review the materials reflect on the question "What do we really hope to discover with evaluation?"