WFE? MOOC – Week 2 Assessment Task

WFE? MOOC – Week 2 Assessment Task

Brain8Onto task 2. I suspect that last week I wasn’t really very connected to the texts that were provided, even though I provided an opinion. So this week I will make a concerted effort to draw on the presentations and readings in the construction of my 200 word reflection.

Task 2

After completing the activities and engaging with the resources this week, end the week with a final reflection. This should be a minimum of 200 words.

Here are some questions to guide your thinking:

During your own education, how has your “intelligence” been assessed?
How has this affected the educational opportunities you have been given?
What judgments have people made about you that have been affected by an assessment of your “intelligence”?
Do you consider yourself to be a “learner”? why?

My Answer:

During your own education, how has your “intelligence” been assessed?

I have often been identified as being of “high intelligence” – however this has never been formally assessed by any of the tests outlined in Sandra Leaton Gray’s A guide to intelligence (and heritability) for beginners. I have often been graded but I am not sure that this is the same as an assessment of my intelligence. Throughout my schooling I have been evaluated via traditional (and occasionally non-traditional) testing and have achieved highly.  In most cases this was testing of my ability to remember elements that had been presented rather than construct new knowledge.

How has this affected the educational opportunities you have been given?

As a child (under 12) this meant that I was usually chosen to participate in “prestigious” extra-curricular programs, such as music (Violin, Cello, Oboe), leadership activities (camps and programs), etc. As a teenager this continued and meant that I was permitted to take leaves of absence from formal curriculum classes to attend extra-curricular events and sporting programs. I think this is very clear evidence of the application of the “small advantages” leading to larger opportunities as discussed by Professor Gordon Stobart. It is likely that because I was identified at an early age as being “intelligent” I was afforded many, many additional opportunities and granted additional flexibility in my education that made me even more successful and “intelligent”.

What judgments have people made about you that have been affected by an assessment of your “intelligence”?

In a setting where “intelligence” is valued then opportunities are opened and more and more interesting things are made available to me. However, this has also acted as a constraint. I took a bakers course a few years ago – it was designed to teach about long/slow rise yeast breads like croissants and danishes. During this course the baker suggested that some people may like to think about this as a career, it occurred to me then that I had no idea how people became bakers (or artists, art teachers, fitter/turner, carpenter etc). During all of my schooling and professional development no teacher, mentor or guidance counselor had bothered to discuss these as options for me. This was the first time that it had occurred to me that my choices had been actively constrained by my teachers’ perceptions of how smart/intelligent I was. They had actively directed/constrained my options based on their expectation that smart = success and success for smart people = lawyer, doctor, engineer, etc. I find it very interesting that determinates of high intelligence can also constrain your choices.

Do you consider yourself to be a “learner”? why?

I do consider myself to be a learner because I am always seeking novel activities and forms of knowledge to attempt and then to master. I recently took a pottery class (wheel throwing) because I had never tried it before. I continue to take this class so as to gain a mastery over this skill. (It turns out I was awful at Pottery – it required a level of body special awareness that I did not have at the beginning of the course. However, with persistence and repeated focus on the less successful elements of my practice (ie correction of poor posture, hand-positioning and pressure) – I am now significantly better. This approach accords with the approach outlined by Professor Gordon Stobart regarding learners who excel. (I still have shown no mastery but I have definitely, through persistence and resilience, learnt better practice in this art).

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