Teaching the same cohort in fifth grade, she looked for ways for her students to explore their interest in data.
We used math websites like TenMarks that enable students to learn about their own learning even as they practice new skills. We analyzed information graphics and dove into ways of presenting numerical information. We explored how numbers shape our understanding of ourselves and the world. And much of their enthusiasm and curiosity for these tasks came out of their interest in numbers from standardized testing.
She now believes standardized testing can help teachers understand how well they’ve taught and help students become “agents in their own learning.”
Testing — and evaluation systems built on test scores — need to get a lot better, Bhatt writes. But it makes more sense “to work to create better data than to fight data.”
Data analysis is an increasingly significant and empowering way of making sense of the world. All sorts of professions use data to interpret their work and decide upon courses of action. Why shouldn’t we in education?
In the high tech world there’s a growing movement called “The Quantified Self.” With quantified self models, adults use data to change habits and behaviors–to lose weight, exercise more, to calm themselves.
“Why not help our students become makers and masters of their own data, and help them use it to propel their own learning forward?” Bhatt asks.
The Measured Man is a fascinating — and somewhat alarming — Atlantic profile of Larry Smarr, an astrophysicist, computer scientist and highly quantified human.