Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

video poem- Measuring May 10, 2014

Here’s a video poem I made for a presentation on issues in standardized testing for my Faculty of Education Master’s class on assessment at University of British Columbia (Okanagan campus) (aka UBC-O).

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22 Responses to “video poem- Measuring”

  1. Great piece. Potent. AMEN!

  2. Bravo!!! May I reblog this?

  3. Reblogged this on Traces of the Soul and commented:
    A poem to ponder on seriously…now if only more universities would hear this!!

  4. wonkywizard Says:

    Great topic. Science requires measurement, but not everything need or can be measured. Do we measure poetry by stressed and unstressed syllabuses only ? Feeling and emotion? intellect and wisdom? Wonder whether words and placards can be less and more presentation with images, audio-visual? or music? or words-pictures hybrid? I am learning too, and the preceding are just suggestions that flow thru the mind.

    • Of course they could be, but for that was what was decided for this time! lol Originally, it was just a slide show, that I was going to narrate live in class. Then I figured out how to time the slides to match the cadence of my narration, and recorded it so the blog-o-sphere could get a bit of a taste of the performance. FYI- I can’t show students’ faces for privacy reasons.

  5. rolltidejen Says:

    This is great! I love the creativity (and the participation of those holding up the words from each line) and the fluctuation of your voice as you read it! And I couldn’t agree more. Those tests never reflect reality or intangibles.

    • Yup. In most cases, the tests only reflect the ability to take tests.

      • rolltidejen Says:

        I wish they’d rethink the whole thing. I remember taking the SAT and ACT and being so discouraged about my low scores when I was an A/B student in school. I just don’t get the need for them.

      • We don’t have anything quite like the SATs here, but our large scale assessments are similar enough that we bemoan the misuse of the data by unscrupulous agencies, misinterpretation of the data, and misapprehension by the general public about what these tests are able to measure, not to mention the waste of time in preparing kids for them. Learning isn’t about filling in dots.

      • rolltidejen Says:

        You hit it on the nose. It’s unfair to students and teachers. I’m American, but I live in Ontario (my husband is Canadian) and our son is in second grade, so I have a beginner’s understanding of it, having spoken to some of the teachers at his school. It’s frustrating and just seems like a lose-lose situation no matter how you look at it. There are so many great teachers out there who can reach kids i ways no one else can and get them excited about learning, but that gets overlooked in place of these blasted tests. I can only imagine how maddening it must be for you and how much pressure it puts you and your students under. But I suppose I’ll find out soon enough when my son gets to that age/grade. 😦

      • I don’t let it worry me. I was amused to discover that going through the school rankings based on tests, whatever school I’ve been at in the last few years teaching gr 12 has higher stats than the years beside it. Coincidence? lol (YES). 😉 I just keep teaching those kids how to write and coach them on thoughtfulness and clarity, and hope it works out for them in the long run.

      • rolltidejen Says:

        LOL! I’m sure it does. 🙂

  6. MW Moore Says:

    Splendid, entertaining, and honest. Tank you.

  7. skykinwrite Says:

    A very nice piece of work.
    And you are right about tests … my big gift in school was that I loved tests, I studied tests, I studied old tests, I became an expert at taking tests; they were like crosswords or Sudoku are to some people. I could go into most tests cold and either ace them or do fine … not because I knew the subject, but because I learned some rules, guidelines, and tips for taking tests. And if the test were essay, the Muse of Bullshit would rise up behind me and whisper and laugh in my ears.

    • Yup. It’s a skill unto itself.

      I’m picturing your muse hanging out in the bottom of a latrine. 😉 Which in turn reminds me of a quote one of my favourite literary scenes “What news from the underworld, Persephone?” to quote Lord John Gray in Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon, when they rescue his son from the privy. 😉

  8. Lorien Says:

    I love this. I was an elementary school teacher for five years and my kids always suffered during the state testing. They suffered almost as much as the adults around them who had to watch them taking this bizarre test, thinking about how that time could’ve been spent learning. Sigh. Great poem!


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