Today I facilitated an activity with the staff in which we examined Picasso’s bulls. Picasso deconstructs a bull and simplifies it to its essence (see below). His efforts stand as a critique on almost all unnecessarily complex and purposeless things we do, including how we construct and operate schools.
Our discussion was fascinating. We explored observations, perceptions, and ideologies. The 90+ minute, reflective exercise encouraged staff to connect and engage in ways we expect our students to do. Then we turned to the challenging aspects of critiquing how we facilitate activities and assess student learning. We grappled with some primal and potent questions:
—-how and when do we give students the opportunity to experience possibility and creativity?
—-what does quality facilitation/instruction look like?
—-how do we assess student learning?
—-how do we boil lessons down to their essence and strip away all the junk that can derail and water down learning activities?
We transitioned quite naturally into a discussion about assessment and revisited our process from last year. Conclusion: room for improvement but no need to completely reinvent the wheel. We’ll likely focus assessment on the following: