Aligning Assessment with Brain Science

The complex ways that children understand mathematics is fascinating to me. Students ask questions, see ideas, draw representations, connect methods, justify, and reason in all sorts of different ways. But recent years have seen all of these different nuanced complexities of student understanding reduced to single numbers and letters that are used to judge students’ worth. Teachers are encouraged to test and grade students, to a ridiculous and damaging degree; students start to define themselves – and mathematics – in terms of letters and numbers. Such crude representations of understanding vastly under-describe and in many cases misrepresent children’s knowledge. Read More

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