Early Birds

Midway through a four-week lesson period in a 10th grade trigonometry class, two questions for the assembled students: What grade would you give yourself for your oral participation? Are you putting in an effort right now or are you slacking off?»

Everyone comments and I note the self-assessment. A week later, we have a test. Now the question to the group: “What part of the study matter do you think you should know?” “Angle calculation on the right triangle, side-angle-side for example.” Again, I make my notes on a sheet of paper. Now I’ll have some fun and allow the students to eliminate two assignments of their choice. The result: I don’t have to change anything regarding the self-assessment of the oral grade – on the contrary, some were too strict with themselves. The list of assignments is also almost perfect. And I ask, dreaming, “Learning is knowing about your own quality, is knowing where you stand and how you are doing.” We have started to put the curriculum in the hands of the students a bit, the next step is the grades. This includes the insight that Ueli Hurter describes from the Demeter farms: Every farm has its quality. It grows when we learn to be true to ourselves. We can’t start soon enough with that.

Photo: Sofia Lismont

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