"An educated mind is a questioning mind. Or is it?" ~ T.S. Welti

On Grades, Learning Outcomes Assessment,
and Learner-Centeredness

by Rafael A. Pulmano, CPA, MBA


Where do I begin?

When I started teaching at a much younger age, about three and a half decades ago at my alma mater in my home country, the Philippines, I owned the stage. In my classroom I was the showman, the magician, the performer (occasionally, the clown)––and my students were my audience. I planned my lessons, chose my mode of delivery, and judged the success of my teaching depending on how its execution matched my expectations. If I did well, then I've taught my students well. Or so I thought. My belief then: If students want to learn, they have to study. I have a job to do. They have theirs.

But I've learned my lessons.

Gradually, I adjusted my beliefs and refined my methods as I got exposed to alternative approaches and, specially, to so-called "best practices" in education. Being learner centered, I now believe, means focusing more on my students (the learners), rather than on myself (the teacher). So at the end of each day, my concern is not whether I have taught, but, have my students learned?

I am reminded of a teacher's story that went viral thru emails and social media, which at one point tells us: "On that day, she quit teaching reading, writing, and speaking. Instead, she began to teach children."

That's exactly how I felt.

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Know thy students
Virtual crystal ball
Tracking student performance
Assessing student learning outcomes

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2017 Rafael A. Pulmano. Design by Andreas Viklund | Modified by Jason Cole