360 degree assessment: the importance of having a public presence

Peer, self, teacher/guide, and the PUBLIC make up what I would consider a 360 degree assessment profile (pending clear: rubrics, task management, problem/project based learning, and social relevance).  This type of assessment is difficult to attain in the traditional school let alone the school shaped around authentic learning environments.  Regardless of ease, 360 assessment is essential  and can be a powerful contradiction to the one size fits all sit and sleep system we so often call “learning”.

The hinge in the 360 degree assessment is public involvement.  For instance, I often tell the young people I teach and learn with that when we write the academic essay the structure and relevance of the work must be constructed in a way that anyone on the web who happened upon it, would gain an easy understanding of the works scene, thesis, evidence based defense, and the writers interpretive stance (why the topic is socially relevant/how the topic is applied to their lives).  This can be achieved through video production,wiki/or hyperlinked piece of writing, art…., on the web and have impact on the public.  Yet the public presentation, lets say with a pre-planned exhibition of mastery is so powerful!

The healthy tension, along with personalized care the public bring, along with the socially relevant necessity of a students work in the 21st century (the public knows there are major issues :war and conflict, poverty, loss of biodiversity, global warming and know that students are learning/or not learning, how to solve these exponential issues), makes the public being involved in learning vital. The nice part: exhibitions can be organized through video conferencing to the public or a myriad of on site gatherings

As we vision learning centers, where young people come together for project meetings, face to face  deliberation, or service work, we should understand the value of public exhibitions!  Libraries, learning centers, downtown streets, business’s, universities, IDP camps….are all amazing opportunities for young people to practice acting out their learning in the public (local or place based/international) space.  Likewise we must create networked spaces that test the boundaries of the internet and its use: unique use of video conferencing….

We are all the interdependent actors we posit as important to understand for constructing  a better world.  Get your work out of the classroom, help connect the young people you teach and learn with to the world– the depression era great grandmother, or United Nations diplomat.  Our collective and global civic culture will surge ahead, and the leaders we hope for may get the practice needed to creatively solve a few life threatening global problems.

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