The big question facing all educators is how we measure academic success? We measure performance using tests, exams, assignments, behavior, and the rest.
But what kind of success are we actually measuring?
If the ultimate goal of schools is to teach students how to be self reliant life learners, then why do we assume success at one automatically means success at the other? Success at school is no guarantee of success at life.
That leads us to ask how does the student measure success? Do we even know to care? How the student sees themselves as learners about life is going to shape how open they are to the opportunities to learn that all our schools provide. But given our mandate to teach, we hardly have a chance to explore that, and have no easy and simple way of knowing it. Well now we have, and it is called MYSCORE.
We have broken out the concept of “Becoming a Successful Life Learner” into what we call 5C learning. 5Cs are the way we invite the student into a conversation with themselves around
We built this simple and fun instrument using the theory of change that states:
Performance is built on the platform of perception.
If a student lives inside a story that tells them that they are no good, that they will never achieve, they are hated by their friends, that they have no future, that they are losers, and that they are quitters, then any teacher or parent will recognize that this inner monologue becomes a daunting internal barrier to learning.
It is what we call the “Always Struggling, Always failing” story. Our challenge is to invite students into the enactment of a new story, one where they see themselves on a journey into ever widening possibilities for their lives. The MYSCORE is a series of cards that are student friendly, easy to use, and different and they all start at the same place- asking the student to score themselves on the 5C scale.
Since they are the experts on their own lives, there is no pass or fail. And since the card is filled in on one particular day, a 1 does not mean a life sentence to feeling low, and a 3 does not signal eternal happiness. How we feel abour ourselves happens to be the child of the moment. But a student using this card over time allows them and us as parents or teachers to gain insight into their inner world, and to identify which students are living with low self-evaluations.
MYSCORE does not end there. In fact, it only begins. The students as a class are given feedback on their overall assessment of what they said, and so does the school and the county. The dose is repeated every month on a designated MYSCORE day. Those students that score themselves low and want to improve are given the opportunity of using a second set of CHARACTER cards and recognition cards, but they are for another training.
Our aim here was just to explain the general principles.