Education ∪ Math ∪ Technology

Tag: creativity (page 1 of 1)

The Relationship Between Accountability and Creativity

Imagine this graph represents the possible relationships between accountability and creativity.

Accountability vs Creativity  graph

Where would you put the activities you do as a school?  Here are some examples of activities some school do, and where I think they lie on the accountability vs creativity scale.

Accountability vs Creativity with some ideas

What you may notice about this graph is that, for the most part, activities which hold schools and students highly accountability are not associated generally with creativity and that activities which are highly creative can fall short of being very accountable.  It’s not a perfect graph, and I think that some of the examples could be moved, but the idea I think is pretty clear: the more you increase accountability, the less flexible the activity, and hence the less ability for students to be creative while completing the activity.

Accountability in this sense means how the activity and the student’s performance of that activity, is shared with the student, the teachers, the school, and the wider community.  Standardized tests are considered a "highly accountability" activity simply because everyone has access to how well pretty much any school did, and educators within those schools generally have access to their individual marks, and of course students get feedback about how well they did.

Creative activities to me are generally areas where the student has a lot of choice on how the activity will be completed, and how they will complete the activity.  These are often the types of activities that I think students will actually be able to do once they finish their education, and according to Sir Ken Robinson, our schools fail to provide opportunities to students to do them.

There are a few activities which fall with higher accountability and decent ability for students to be creative, and we often find that these activities are not ones which are done by most schools.  Anyway, I’m sure the model I have up there is imperfect, so I invite you to follow this link to this collaborative Google drawing I’ve started, and we can add other activities to this chart.


Collaborating for end of year assessments

This year we are collaborating at my school for our end of year assessments. Our objective is to create assessments which are somewhat open ended, while providing opportunities for the students to demonstrate that they understand, and can use, what they have learned this year. In my 9th grade class, it looks like we will be collaborating in Science, Math, and Design & Technology to produce an assessment. I’m pretty excited about it, it’s actually my first time doing a collaborative end of year assessment.  I can’t tell you what it is yet, don’t want to let the cat out of the bag for my class.  Every other school I’ve worked at the end of year assessment meant "Let’s give the students a final exam."

Although I’m still not convinced that these assessments are truly representative of everything the students have learned, I think they strike a much better balance between our need as educators to find out what the kids know, and the kids need to express themselves creatively.

Some sample assessments which could span multiple disciplines that could be used include:

  • Create an eco-friendly model for our new school and find the cost of this new building. Present your findings to your peers, critically analyzing the process you went through. (Math, Science, Design & Technology, English)
  • Determine if the water from the local lake is safe to drink. Present your findings to your peers. (Math, Science, English)

Please comment below if you have any other ideas as I am sure there are lots and lots of good ideas out there.