Improving Student Outcomes
Tags: learning outcomes
Improving student learning outcomes. Sounds a bit like school, doesn’t it? Actually, it is really just school lingo or jargon masquerading as attainable goals or standards.
There is no doubt that anyone involved with education, be it the ministry, bureaucracy, schools, teachers or parents, all have the objective of attaining the best results in education. Question is, how are the best results determined? Furthermore, who is it that determines this outcome?
This is where the rubber meets the road, as the saying goes. Answering these two questions should give us a better idea of what is actually involved respecting the student outcomes that should technically be expected of all “funded” students of Alberta.
I do mention the funding here for good reason. That old adage that he who pays the piper calls the tune is easily applied in this case. This does answer one of the important questions about student learning outcomes.
Who is it that determines what students should “look like” at the end of their formal education? Why, the one who paid for it does. If that was the government, then the government can determine what that education should involve and how the children are to be affected by it.
If parents are paying the bill, that is, if they do not accept government funding, they are then the ones who can legitimately determine what they desire for their children’s educational outcomes. It’s that simple.
The most important question regarding student learning outcomes applies to both students being educated at government schools and children being educated at home. That question is simply, who has any idea of what the future holds or how to best prepare for it? Who can look into the future and know what Sally or Sam will be doing with their lives?
And when did every single student become so “predictable” as to have their future planned by predetermined, standardized goals and learning outcomes? Anywhere else, one would be accused of playing God, but then who questions the status quo education system or any facsimile of it?
Each child is an individual and each one will have a unique place to occupy in the world they will live in. I am most certainly not saying that we should not do everything to prepare each student for the future, but I do question why they should all be measured by the same criteria when each will take their own path.
Furthermore, I question the purpose of the education, whether it is being delivered by teachers in a school or parents at home. Knowing that both parents and schools want what is best for the student and knowing these objectives may not be the same for both, where do you believe a child will be best understood and consequently better prepared for that individual’s life?
While schools may have a standardized set of student learning outcomes that essentially homogenize all students into conformity, parents celebrate the uniqueness of each child by reasonably expecting them to do the best they can with what they have.
Parents don’t have to create something of their children. The best student learning outcomes can only be achieved when there is a reasonable expectation for excellence in keeping with each child’s ability. This can only be achieved when parents determine to obey the Creator who knows each child intimately.
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