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Student-Focused Learning and Assessment

Involving Students in the Learning Process in Higher Education

Edited By Natasha A. Jankowski, Gianina R. Baker, Erick Montenegro and Karie Brown-Tess

This contributed volume explores institutional and programmatic policies and practices which actively engage students as partners in improving student learning. This entails an examination of the degree to which students are partners in the assessment and learning processes and the characteristics of these partnerships. This volume showcases student partnerships, as well as presents a history of institutional culture affecting student learning, the role of students in teaching and learning, and brings student voices and perspectives to bare through research from a variety of institutional types. Case studies, current programs and activities, and a model for culturally-responsive assessment are highlighted to better understand student-focused learning and assessment. Implications for faculty, staff, and administrators are questioned. Overall, this volume links research to practice, and offers faculty, practitioners, and administrators different forms and methods of including students, while keeping issues of equity in mind.

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7. Reviving a Lost Opportunity



Dear reader,

I thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I am writing to you from the United States and the Chicago metropolitan area as a former classroom instructor and instructional specialist. I was responsible for the education of primarily adolescent learners of mathematics and science and the professional learning of educators, respectively. I’d like to share with you a reflection on a summer teaching project that revealed a lot about the need for greater student voice and choice in schooling. I’ll give you some of my background and motivation and a summary of the project context. I aim to give you a fuller depiction of who was involved and what happened, where there were successes and failures, and what I would recommend based on the process. Bear in mind, this was not a formal research investigation. Documentation was limited and much of this story is crafted from recollections years later. Names of schools, personnel, and students are changed to protect identities.

Here in the United States, there has been long-standing attention on the academic performance of our youth. In the last century, especially since A Nation at Risk Report (Gardner, Larsen, Baker, Campbell, & Crosby, 1983), school improvement has been a promise at every layer of leadership—from the President down through governors and mayors to superintendents and principals. Yet, international comparisons, like the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) (1995–2015), continued to demand...

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