“The Authority of Inscrutable…”

One constant, unrelenting message we educators hear is data are life. All are data. Data are all.* And yet, I sense our fumblings and amateurish attempts to understand and analyze data fail us, and moreover, our students. We are often told to ignore qualitative factors that any scientist worth her salt would question, annotate, and contextualize. In school, those reasonable questions might include what students are in honors classes, or block schedules, or are they suffering from depression, trauma, or discomfort of food or housing insecurities? Does the staff work in congruent cross-content, grade level teams with a cohort of…

Confused? Good. You're thinking.

//giphy.com/embed/3o7TKDNV8ZqWei6iFq via GIPHY Without going into the long backstory, recently someone told me students in my class were confused and whispering to each other, seeking clarity. They said this like it was a bad thing.  Oh, silly teacher…! Well, it’s not. In fact, it’s an awesome thing. A tremendous thing…dare I say….maybe one of the best things a student can experience!? Confusion is metacognition as an expression: it means that the student or students are engaged, tracking, and wham! knows they’re lost–and when you know you’re lost you can try to find your way back. The point in question was during…