Watch this video, and listen to what the little girl is saying.
I am lucky enough to be taking a graduate cohort with Dr. David Jardine, an incredible scholar of hermeneutics, ecology, and pedagogy. In class the other night, Dr. Jardine was talking about measurement.
Measurement can be a dirty word in education. We cringe when we think about Provincial Achievement Test results, the Fraser Report, and merit pay for teachers based on student results. Dr. Jardine's point, though, was that we need to allow for some space around the word "measurement," or "testing." Dr. Jardine suggested we treat the word "measurement" as the truest word we could possibly say. We should let measurement be as good as it can be.
The video of the ski jumper is about measurement. It's about testing. But it's one kid's self-initiated test against herself. She is testing her own limits. She is measuring up to her own courage and bravery.
How can we liberate kids to test themselves, to measure themselves, and to feel this kind of elation in the learning they do in our classrooms?