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IFL Quote

The quote above by Eric Mazur really struck me recently when thinking about assessment. Back in 2015, I interviewed 27 thought leaders on the topic of 'Assessing the Learning That Matters Most' (you can read the findings here) and began to build an open source database of emerging practice.  Fast forward four years and I am delighted to see the movement to assess what we value in schools gather momentum - and to see it being led by educators. 

In the coming months, I will interview several thought leaders and practitioners to get myself up to speed on what has changed since the 2015 report and how the field is evolving. In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about emerging practice, I strongly encourage you to buy Jonathan Martin's new book, Reinventing Crediting for Competency-Based Education: The Mastery Transcript Consortium Model and Beyond, (available September 18th). I interviewed Jonathan for the 2015 report and his insights and depth of experience were invaluable. As he prepares for book launch, I asked Jonathan a few questions about the book: why he wrote it, what he hoped readers would learn from it, and the work that is in his heart to do. You can read his replies below and follow Jonathan on Twitter

Be sure to watch Eric Mazur's Dudley Herschbach Teacher/Scientist Lecture on assessment being the "silent killer of learning" - and if you have any suggestions of people I might interview on the topic of assessment, I would love to hear from you


"We really need to rethink our assessment, because unless we do so, we will continue to educate the followers of yesterday, rather than the leaders of tomorrow"
– Eric Mazur

58:43 (Starting around the 9:00min mark)

A Conversation with
Jonathan Martin
Like many others, I have been fascinated by, and passionate about, transforming secondary school education in the US and beyond for many years. From my own first hand observation shadowing students at dozens of schools and serving as a Principal of three, I've come to be deeply concerned that schools aren't engaging students in meaningful ways - they aren't demanding they apply their learning in substantial ways, and aren't preparing them for the challenges of college and careers in rigorous ways. The work of transforming schools is challenging, and we have to identify what are the constraints on this process, and I was greatly taken, in 2016, with how Scott Looney, Head of Hawken School (OH), identified the way the high school transcript, and how schools "credit" learning" is one of those key constraints, and if we were to lift that constraint, and reinvent the transcript (and the crediting that goes onto it), we could more effectively transform the learning. Scott Looney was kind enough to invite me to several early meetings of the Mastery Transcript Consortium, the organization he founded, and to have me do several small projects for the MTC in those first few years of its launch. In 2017, I had the good fortune to visit four schools in New Zealand, and speak with a dozen or so educators there, and saw how the NZ NCEA system offered a form of this re-invention that was, at least partially, liberating schools and allowing for powerful new forms of learning. From these two activities, the book was born. 

It is my hope that readers of the book will 1, recognize the value of changing our century or more old system of crediting student learning -- all that positive things that that change can bring about -- and why the time is right for us to do so; 2, learn more about this alternate model from its precedents in higher education and in New Zealand, and benefit from the hard lessons learned from those various pioneering efforts; and 3, take information for the work of leading this complicated transition from examples of schools that have already begun the work and from my detailed step by step guidance. 

My own most powerful learning experiences have always been when worlds collide, when I was able to connect academic study with the world around me. Students do already, and can learn so much more, when they are engaged with their surrounding community, when they are doing work that matters. If I could wave a magic wand, I'd want many more types of learning to be recognized and credited, and I'd want educators to have far more latitude to design and document so-called "transdisciplinary" teaching and learning that will engage our students better while also requiring of them they attain and demonstrate the key competencies each school has identified. 

I love the work of being in schools, in and among students and educators, identifying the challenges they encounter and then supporting them in the collaborative process of troubleshooting and brainstorming solutions. I take so much inspiration from the folks doing the hard work in the field. I greatly enjoy writing about their challenges and their strategies, and sharing their lessons as examples for others on how to move forward in better ensuring student success. 
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Julie M. Wilson

I started the Institute for the Future of Learning because I believe our education system needs to change in order to prepare our children for an unknowable future. I have worked with adults as a leadership coach and workshop facilitator for over two decades and have seen first hand how our 19th century system of education is not preparing our children to thrive as adults in the 21st century.

The Human Side of
Changing Education 

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In my latest book, "The Human Side of Changing Education," I discuss the rising tide of popular consensus that the traditional, century-old, model of education is no longer serving our children. The purpose of this book is to equip education change leaders with a practical framework and human-centered tools and resources to lead meaningful, sustainable change.
To grab your free chapter, please click here. 
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