In an interview by C. M. Rubin with Pasi Sahlberg, Mr. Sahlberg states, “Small data relies primarily on observations and recordings made by human beings. In education, these include students’ self-assessments, teachers’ participatory notes on learning process, external school surveys, and observations made of teaching and learning situations.”
Pre-school children as young as three years old are being indoctrinated into a system that judges and standardizes them according to the data collected from a representative sample of children entering the system.
These children are full of wonder, wanting to learn about and engage in their environment. However, instead of being observed to discover their gifts and talents, they are tested to uncover their disabilities.
Watching a child at play provides educators with a wealth of information about their strengths which are an important aspect of how well they will be able to successfully survive in their environment.
Unfortunately, instead of observing children during play, educators today are taught to guide them in their play, forcing them to adhere to a process of normalization that denies them recognition of and respect for their natural abilities.
These youngsters are forced to adhere to time and motion constraints that are unnatural. And, if they rebel, they are considered learning disabled or behaviorally challenged. They are neither, they are playful children.
By kindergarten these children will be institutionalized by a system of education that dehumanizes them through standardization and data collection. They will no longer be inquisitive and playful but uninterested in learning and stoic.
We allow this type of educational system to survive because it is what we know, not because it is what is best for our children. We are told by the statistics that learning should be accomplished in a certain way by a certain age or there is a problem with the child.
The problem is with the system that ignores the “small data” in favor of the “big data” that ignores our individuality.
All children deserve to be assessed by small data so that they can succeed educationally in a big way.
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