Which is more important: process versus product
The discussion over the post on innumeracy and memorization got me started thinking, and so I will throw it out to you all, hoping a few people might de-lurk:
k mentioned that students can get partial points on the math section of the NCLB-mandated tests in her state if they demonstrate using the correct processes:
My classmates and I were surprised to learn that, on our state's high stakes do or die test, a student can have the wrong answer but get more points, because they labeled, graphed and explained, than the student with the right answer who didn't jump through all the hoops.
The very next week one of our school districts announced a huge immediate cut in programs and technology, followed by a staffing cut next year. Why? Because the budget contained an error to the tune of millions of dollars.
Now, I'm sure, that the budget report was neat, tidy, with graphs, labels and explanations...
but, darn it, that wrong answer doesn't seem to be getting the school district many points with parents and staff.
graycie said this:
The reflection of your post in the world of reading is looking at the first letter of a word and then just sorta guessing at it. In literature it's the Disney-fication of everything. Aaargh.
I have heard many involved in education trumpet this emphasis of process over product. Think Frank Lloyd Wright here: beautiful designs, exquisite buildings-- which often leaked like a sieve and needed major repair work almost constantly because he seemed to skimp on the boring engineering side of the job.
Perhaps this gets back to our emphasis on style over substance; yeah, yeah, human nature, right? But isn't part of education about overcoming human nature for the better?
So should we reward process over product? Is it good to know how to do something even if you can't do it?
An open thread for you.
Labels: educational philosophy