Assessment and Grading Flourish in the Classroom and in Sports | Nick Dressler | 7 Min Read

A confession: I’ll admit to being rather fond of the sports analogy. Analogies in general are trenchant teaching and learning devices. They leverage shared prior knowledge and forge intelligible connections for efficient communication absent the condescension and sermonizing that can plague a standard presentation or article. They presume the speaker and listeners are equal, in other words, and inhabit the same world. In particular, the sports analogy relies on common shared experiences that, when juxtaposed with academic paradigms, provide a useful if imperfect comparison to the teacher’s role in the classroom. Most people have played sports, after all, and, even if they haven’t, the idea of learning something new — not memorizing, mind you, but actual demonstration — learning something new not for the sake of a test and a subsequent grade, but for the self-actual purpose of performing the skills in a real-world environment. People understand this, even if they don’t necessarily locate it as learning proper. In sports, you have practice and then the game. You don’t practice for the sake of doing well in practice, you practice to perform well in, and eventually win, the game.

So here it goes:

Given its popularity, I’ll assume it’s…

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Nick Dressler

Nick Dressler is an English Teacher at De Smet Jesuit School (MO) and an OESIS Network Leader.