The ‘eff’ word

talk from chalk

Let’s play around with the concept of ‘effort’.

If this isn’t the most important, yet least appreciated concept in education, I’d like you to show me what is. There seems to be this paradox around the idea of effort. We demand it of students but rarely articulate this effectively. We’re good at congratulating those students who demonstrate it. We’re usually quick to investigate, encourage, and maybe even chastise students who don’t demonstrate it. It is obviously highly prized. Yet, we are very poor at identifying and articulating just what efforts a student is making and giving them due credit for this.

Mind you, education systems world-wide are, by contrast, exceptionally good at accurately reflecting a student’s achievement. Achievement is tangible, measurable, empirical. Society can (and increasingly does) chart children’s achievements as they grow up, marking their progress against well established and quantifiable standards. We measure the achievement of students in…

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