Do We Have Different Paths “Up?”

Hugh MacLeod - @gapingvoid
Hugh MacLeod - @gapingvoid

Hugh MacLeod – @gapingvoid

Saw this picture in Hugh MacLeod’s Cartoon of the Day this morning. This seems self-evident: there are many paths to a fulfilling, successful and meaningful process or project. At the same time, there are basic traps of failure that we see our students fall in repeatedly, or certain behaviors that we know “lead down.” Is it true, though, that “All paths up are different” in our classrooms? How many different paths can a student have to success in your classroom? It seems to me that this question has many facets:

  • Does your grading policy allow different paths to success, or does the goal of accumulating points force students into certain tracks and processes?
  • Do your assessments allow students to take different paths, whether through exploring different content or by demonstrating their learning in different methods?
  • Are all students differentiated so that they are each working on their necessary strengths, weaknesses and goals?
  • MacLeod says in his accompanying message that “It’s far harder to copy success than to copy failure.” How do we use models, rubrics and exemplars in ways that encourage finding unique paths up instead of trying to “copy success?”

What do you think? Please comment below!

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