Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Hatch, T., & Seidel, S. (1997). Putting student work on the table. National Forum: The Phi Kappa Phi Journal, 77 (1), 18-21.

Hatch and Seidel begin this article with three images: the child handing a report card to a parent and neither of them understanding what an "A" or a "C" signifies; the reporting of standardized test scores in the local paper and the lack of clarity about what they mean; and teachers sitting around a conference table discussing what their graduating students should know and be able to do. Grades, standardized tests, and standards do not improve student learning, the authors contend, but there is promise in another image. In this case, we see teachers putting actual pieces of student work on the table and having serious conversations about that work. The conversations can extend to parents, students, and the community and provide clear understandings of standards for excellence and the means of achieving them. Hatch and Seidel describe these kinds of conversations: a parent-child-teacher conference about the child's work; monthly teacher meetings to discuss student work; and school community events revolving around student work.

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