The “evaluate that” campaign

I am totally sympathetic with teachers’ reactions to the simplistic, pedestrian ways of evaluating the quality of their work, the quality of student work, and the quality of schools. That efforts are made to reduce complex evaluands to simple ones is a serious problem. The “EVALUATE THAT” campaign identifies important aspects of teaching and education that aren’t measured and therefore not evaluated… things like compassion, empathy, cooperation… the emotional, interactional content of the work of teaching. [Click here, for the heartfelt remarks of one teacher.] The campaign (started by BadAss Teachers who created the meme shown in this post) also suggests these things can’t be measured and can’t be evaluated. Stories are being aggregated with the use of the Twitter hastag #evaluatethat.

Whether you are a teacher, student, parent, administrator… tell us, in a brief sentence or two, YOUR moments of teaching or learning (yours or someone else’s) that was never formally measured but made an impression on you. These ‘bites’ of reality do not have to be all gloriously positive, the only criteria – true, real and not measured (no hypotheticals please).

We are collecting these via Twitter by using #evaluatethat hashtag in each relevant tweet. This will ensure all of these are kept in one place and can be easily seen by all.

The hashtag has taken on a bit of a f*&k you tone… you can sort of imagine the tweeter grabbing their crouch while they shout “EVALUATE THAT.” Even so, the collection of stories is an important reminder of the complexity of teaching and schooling… a complexity that needs to be incorporated into judgements of the quality of teaching, learning and schooling. While it may be very difficult to measure such things as compassion and empathy that’s not a reason to step away, but all the more reason to find sound ways of incorporating those behaviors and actions into evaluations.

5 comments

  1. this is an amazing action within the BATs group….the stories are amazing, and show exactly the myriad of ways that teachers go above and beyond every day, in ways that could NEVER be evaluated!!! please consider joining BATs in our battle to fight the prEDatory DEformers who are seeking to only profit from public education, and who could care less about children, teachers, nor the true meaning of education….

  2. These behaviors do NOT need to be evaluated. Acknowledged, yes. Teaching goes way beyond a text book ad you can clearly see. We are professionals, looking at each child’s unique circumstances; like a doctor looks at each individual patient. And we do what is necessary for that child to succeed in life….not just succeed for some test.

  3. mediakathie… I do support the battle against the neoliberal, corporate and misdirected strategies for educational reform… browsing my blog you’ll see that

    juli… you are conflating a student test with evaluation and they are not the same thing. Professional evaluators would never assume that only one outcome indicator is appropriate in evaluating anything, including teaching or learning or schooling. It is a mistake to claim that the affective components of teaching (or being a doctor) should not be evaluated when indeed those evaluations are made all the time. Parents lobby for their children to be in a certain teacher’s classroom because the have judged him to be fair or sympathetic or fun and so on. The principal judges a teacher to be highly committed to their work since they are at school early and leave late. Lots of examples.

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