Conclusions from our Collaboration


Outside Perspectives

As outsiders to each other's classroom, we analyze each other's students' presentations differently from the classroom teacher who assigned the work, at least in part because as classroom teachers we construct our assignments and then take for granted when students do them as we expect them to. The collaborator, as an outsider who did not create the assignment, notices students' achievements that the classroom teacher may overlook. In one presentation, for example, Rachel took for granted the way the student incorporated an interview into the presentation, and Joe was able to see connections the student author made that were valuable to acknowledge. Sometimes, because the student isn't doing what we expected or intended in the assignment, we can see their work as less successful than someone looking without those expectations who can see beyond the bounds of the assignment to what the student may have learned. Sometimes we know too much about our own students and what we know blinds us to elements of their work that the collaborator, who knows fewer details about the students' lives, can see.

Looking at Learning, Looking Together