Thursday, September 9, 2010

Process v. Product

As my students have been wrestling with the assignments that I have given them over the past week (one on the first day of school, the other earlier this week), I have listened to their concerns and their questions and have come to the conclusion, with the help of many of colleagues, that we as a culture have conditioned them to only care about the end result not how they got there. Their lives are all about taking high stakes tests; they have been told that they need to pass these tests to graduate; they have been told that they have to do well on these tests to get into the most competitive colleges or to go to colleges at all; we gear our classes to prepare them to take these tests. We as a society have told these students that all that matters is the end, not the path that they take to get there. And this is what I have found as the confusion over the assignments that I have given out so far this year. I am more concerned about the process that takes them to the end. I want them to create things, but I want them to understand how to make things so that they can apply the process to other assignments and projects that they are going to have this year and beyond. I can only hope that as the year progresses, they see the process of learning and thinking as just as if not more important than the product they create.

1 comment:

Sue Densmore said...

Right on, Dan. Not only is should we be helping them notice and care about the process, the journey should be fun!