What We Teachers Can Learn From American Idol

Here’s another interesting article culled from one of my favorite sites, Arts & Letters Daily. In “Schooled by ‘American Idol'” Christopher Ames considers how much in common educational assessment and evaluation have with the judging of American Idol.

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Filed under Teaching

4 responses to “What We Teachers Can Learn From American Idol

  1. This is fascinating. I’ve never seen American Idol but people talk about it all the time at work. It does feel like we’re all–kids and adults–hungry for real, meaningful evaluation. I know that as my own academic and behavioral standards have gotten higher in the past few years, my students do better– they like knowing that I know they’re capable of real thought and real work.

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  2. Did you see the teaching evaluations for Socrates today on Arts & Letters? I almost choked when reading it.

    The question is: what is meaningful evaluation? Is American Idol meaningful evaluation? How about student evaluations? I don’t think either cut it. In the first case, you get a 2-sentence soundbite. In the second, you get comments on clothes, hair, and “how boring” you are.

    Real evaluation takes time. When I teach, once or twice a semester I call in my students for one-on-one writing evaluations. These can take 20 minutes. During these 20 minutes I can touch on the good and the bad. Even the worst writer can leave thinking, “hey, I do this okay” and will learn something from it.

    Do read the Socrates article, Monica! It’s so funny!! I HATE student evaluations because they always talk about what I’m wearing and I must admit, I’m not a fashionplate :)

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  3. Kelly,

    Thanks for pointing me to the Socrates’ student evaluation piece (as I sometimes let my A & L Daily reading pile up). Hilarious and spot on!

    And of course you are totally right about evaluation/assessment. I’m not an American Idol fan (too mean for me), but knowing its popularity did think this article was amusing.

    Boring is the kiss of death these days.

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  4. Pingback: Top Idol Stars » American Idol March 18, 2007 10:36 am

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