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Damian Cooper addresses crowd of 300 at Small School Summit

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Teachers must find creative ways to assess true student learning or risk having pupils “tune out” in their classrooms. That was the message Educational Consultant Damian Cooper had Friday for 300 delegates at the 2014 Upper Canada District School Board Small School Summit. Cooper, author of the book Redefining Fair told educators the standardized grading system used for decades doesn’t do a good enough job at assessing true learning, posing the danger some students will become disengaged.

Cooper called on educators to make accommodations for struggling students, to ensure every student learns the essentials society needs them to in order to be successful. He said deeper learning requires creativity and hard work but in the end it’s worth the effort.

In his presentation, Cooper emphasized the need for “deeper learning.” He said teachers must reach their students in a variety of ways including: striving to make the curriculum meaningful, relevant, and coherent for them; making assessment informative; and making instruction responsive to students’ needs. The Small School Summit wrapped up on Friday.

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