Cathy Davidson includes many reasons why and how the classroom should be revamped. The Duke IPod project helped the classroom learn how students felt about growing up in a digital age. She took the critique of her best students that said her grading style was out of date (even though her class was about how technology is changing the world). The students and events in her life related to the classroom have made her believe that learning isn’t hard enough and that “we need to look at the methods and challenges of a typical public school in America today.” (91)Davidson also believes that “multiple-choice test did avoid…judgment.”(115). I too agree with Davidson. You cannot judge how much someone knows about a topic by making them answer A,B,C,orD. Tests are a judgement of what the teacher would like you to have learned and aren’t necessarily what you have taken from an assignment. My junior year of high school was one of the best years I’ve had because of one remarkable teacher and her assessment. She changed the standard method of teaching and got rid of the multiple choice tests. Thus, allowing her students to carry the lessons they have learned with them for the rest of their lives.
I remember looking at my junior schedule when I got it wondering how hard it would be. I handed it to my older sister and she immediately chuckled. “Lopez for Spanish advanced communications, huh? Good luck! No one has ever gotten better than a C.” Great. Junior year hasn’t even started and I already have a reason to be stressed. The first day, the teacher scared all of the juniors and seniors in her class with her rapid explanation (entirely in Spanish) of the year ahead of us. But the words in English scared some the most. “If you have been sailing by in previous Spanish classes by the multiple choice tests you are in for a rude awakening. This class is about participation and speaking the language. No test will tell me how you well you speak Spanish.” She set high expectations for her students and was extremely clear with what she expected. She demanded that her students be engaged in her class and if you weren’t, your grade reflected it. She got everyone to look at a variety of issues in different ways. Senora had us discuss current issues entirely in Spanish. She liked to hear us back up our opinions, in addition to voicing them. She was very insightful and truly brought forward the best in her students. But she wasn’t just a straightforward, cut throat teacher. She also had hilarious comments! (You just had to understand Spanish to get her jokes). One of the most important things I learned from her was to never give up. On every assignment, quiz, or test we were required to write “No me rendire.” which literally translates to I will not surrender. Senora instilled the desire to work hard in me. At the end of the year I received an A and found myself calling her my favorite teacher. The things I have learned in that class I can apply not only on a test but in the real world and I plan to carry them with me forever.
As far as this class goes, an appropriate boss-level challenge would be similar to the final. That last level of our game should incorporate what we have learned this quarter and something pressing in the news/media. It would be very interesting to see what some of the students in this class come up with.