Sunday, November 25, 2012

Food photography and authentic assessment

Five or ten years ago, I might have said that authentic assessment was having students write a letter to an author or creating a dialogue between two business people.

Authentic assessment is far broader today. With over half-a-million photos of food on a flick photo group called "I Ate This," how can we say photos of food are not an authentic assessment? I might not be sure precisely what can be assessed with photos of food, but surely something can. The New York Times carried a story two-years ago (that's a long time ago information-wise) about the abundance of food photography.

What can we assess with pinterest? Would Marzano say we can do some sort of assessment on classification on pinterest?

In the fall of 2010, I had the great pleasure of teaching my first (five sections of) Introduction to Philosophy. One topic we covered was freewill verses determinism. We asked questions about how free people are in a variety of different ways. We researched about freewill and determinism in a variety of ways, including some in-class experiments, and researching the Standford Prison Experiment. We learned about the people involved in the experiment and their circumstances. Our culminating project was a visit by Oprah to our classroom. I moved a sofa and some chairs to my room to mimic Oprah's set. Students took on roles of different characters in the Stanford Prison Experiment and we "played" Oprah.

It wasn't exactly a dialogue between two business people. It was spontaneous, not scripted. It did involve students taking on roles.  Is it possible my students might one day be on Oprah? Was this assessment authentic in that regard? Maybe they will be, maybe they will not be, but they will need to be able to converse with people from a variety of backgrounds and take on the perspective of others.

I just hope they aren't on Jerry Springer. Ever.


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