The Limit Should Not Exist

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Today in ID, to do a dry run for when council members do this same activity at COI on Friday, we had a very interesting discussion around Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic article, “Curiosity is as Important as Intelligence” from the Harvard Business Review.  I think the discussion was particularly interesting because we were all able to notice how much our discussion skills have improved since day on this year in ID. There were no long pauses, few facilitator “let’s get back on track” comments needed, more people referring directly to the text, a larger diversity in who was speaking (while I must say myself and a few others could still work at being better at knowing when not to talk to let others have a chance; a skill which I’ve been trying to purposefully work on), people were looking around at the entire group when they spoke, and in general there were a lot of good questions brought up.

I don’t want to try and recap the entire conversation because I don’t think that would be practical. I have included some pictures of the notes  Boa (Mr. Adams/Bo Adams depending who you are) was taking during our discussion, and some members of the cohort have also been continuing the conversation via blogs as well if you would like to know more about the thoughts of the day.

However, as I personally have gone through today, this idea of “How might we create meaningful learning measurement systems?” kept coming to mind. (This maybe is not the best way to phrase the question, but it’s the one I just came up with). Now the assumption I make with this question is that measurement systems are helpful and desired. However, the assumption I do not want to make is that measurement systems need to be measured by a number.

Throughout the conversation today IDers, including myself, kept being riffled by how the author did not give many concrete details as to how Intelligence Quotient, Emotional Quotient, and Curiosity Quotient are actually measured. We all agreed though, that measuring these quotients by numbers doesn’t mean much and seems very rigid of a structure for such abstract ideas. We even talked about other forms like color systems, or systems like our ID rubrics based on skills. Still though, we weren’t/aren’t satisfied with these other forms of feedback, but we do believe that it is helpful to have some sort of measurement system so that you can have goals and continue to improve while understanding what you need to do to take your skills to the next level.

The thing is that with IQ, EQ, and CQ you need to be constantly working those muscles in order to improve them, and there is always room to grow. However, if you make a measurement system where there is a clear and defined “top”, then what do you do when someone reaches that top? –and someone always does. How can you continue to improve your skills once you have reached the highest level? It seems that in theory the more advanced you become, the more important it is for you to have high goals to strive for, because otherwise you will fall back on your “training” and you skills will either go unchanging, or you will fall back.

Our facilitators gave an internal a few days ago on badging, and one of their current ventures involves trying to create a system of badges that is inspired by the periodic table. (Keep in mind, I’m likely not giving the best description of how they would define their venture, but I haven’t read or discussed anything by/with them on it, so I’m basing this off assumptions I made from their internal session.) The reason the periodic table is so intriguing is because elements are organized in many different ways by the natural observed properties that each element posses, and when you look at the visual, it is relatively easy for someone to understand after a little guidance. Furthermore, and this is the key, the periodic table is able to predict new elements that we have not yet discovered through trends displayed on the table itself.

After our discussion today in Innovation Diploma, I am even more hooked and loving this idea! Imagine a system for measuring learning that had no highest point and instead the system was constantly producing new goals and levels to reach and strive for. Just like how in the 21st century education systems are having to change due to knowledge being so readily available in today’s world of technology, history tells us that there will be a time in the future where yet another change will be necessary in order for education to keep up with our growing and changing world. Imagine if this system didn’t have to keep changing and instead it just kept growing. Imagine if rather than a single tool for measuring student achievement, there was an entire system crafted to adapt to different times.

Measurements and goals help us strive for greatness beyond what we may thing is truly feasible, and this strive in the end tends to be far more achievable then we believed. If we put a limit to our measurement systems weather that be “100%, 2400, Green zone, 5, the fourth section of feedback, etc.” we are being hypocritical to the idea that learning can continuously grow and get better by saying that there is no higher achievement.

Measurements and rubrics can be helpful for feedback; I am finally starting to come to terms with the idea of there being different forms of rubrics rather than just a number rubric, and these rubrics do help provide feedback and further learning. However, I’ve also discovered that I will not truly be satisfied with any rubric until we create a limitless learning measurement system that encourages life long learning by not marking a set “end destination” that must be the same and only standard for everyone to be compared to.

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5 thoughts on “The Limit Should Not Exist

  1. Anya– I’ve done a lot of research into EI (emotional intelligence) for my doctoral research. There are a few scales/systems that have been used for graduate school admission (nursing fields are leading the way in this) that have been successful. If you ever want to talk about it, I would love to join the conversation and be a resource.

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