Defending vs Defensive | Alexa Schmid | Normative Tendencies

In Don’t @ Me (3:51), Tom outlines the challenges we face when deciding whether someone is defending themselves or being defensive. Then, Tom is joined by Alexa Schmid (16:42), Middle School Principal at the International School of Kenya, to discuss the findings of her doctoral research on Justice, Equity, and Cultural Competence in International Education. Finally, in Assessment Corner (1:12:35), Tom explores the inadvertent influence our lingering normative tendencies can have on the implementation of standards-based grading practices. 



Introspection Illusion | Natalie Conway | Consumable Report Cards?

In Don’t @ Me (2:13), Tom highlights the psychological phenomenon of “introspection illusion” (via Dr. Emily Pronin) and talks about its impact on both our disagreements with colleagues and on student self-reflection. Then, Tom is joined by Natalie Conway (13:19) to discuss online learning and what it takes to create a truly rich experience for online learners. Finally, in Assessment Corner (1:04:00), Tom explores the oft-overlooked aspect of report card reform; is the new report card consumable to parents and families?



BONUS: Standardized Testing with Tom Guskey

In this bonus episode, Tom is joined by Tom Guskey to discuss the recent decision by the Biden Administration to mandate that standardized tests proceed this spring. The conversation focuses on this acute decision and standardized tests in general.



Defending EduSpeak | Trevor MacKenzie | Self-Reflection

In Don’t @ Me (2:05) Tom takes aim at those who (wrongly) use the terms like “EduSpeak” or “Buzzword” to refer to important, research-validated processes. Then, Tom is joined by Trevor MacKenzie (10:02) to discuss inquiry-based learning and how to bring more student agency to the classroom. Finally, in Assessment Corner (1:10:03), Tom explores the 4 directions and the 2 dimensions of student self-reflection.



Allure of Labels | Starr Sackstein | Multiple-Choice

In Don’t @ Me (1:34) Tom shares his thoughts on why (now more than ever) people use labels to undercut the credibility of those with whom they disagree. Then, Tom is joined by Starr Sackstein (10:48) to discuss her assessment journey and her quest to go “gradeless.” Finally, in Assessment Corner (1:05:24), Tom explores when multiple-choice is an appropriate assessment method and how to develop a quality multiple-choice item.


Experience for Nuance | Jay McTighe | Assessing Creativity

In Don’t @ Me (6:18) Tom examines the strange relationship some educators have with research and suggests that our experience be used to add the nuances of implementation. Then, Tom is joined by Jay McTighe (15:15) to discuss “Designing Authentic Performance Tasks and Projects.” Finally, in Assessment Corner (1:20:30), Tom explores how teachers can assess creativity without stifling creativity and how to develop criteria to assess the creative process.


Learning Loss Illusion | Shauna Brown | Net-Zero Grading Reform

In Don’t @ Me (2:50) Tom explains why he’s done talking about the “COVID learning loss” and why rich, engaging opportunities now are all students need going forward; that “catching-up” is a manufactured narrative. Then Tom is joined by Shauna Brown (11:48) who is an Instructional Leader, Consultant, Educator, and Entrepreneur; the discussion centers on racial equity in schools and society, as well as the vision behind her brand “Teach For the Culture.” Finally, in Assessment Corner (1:01:31), Tom highlights why any move to sound grading practices or standard-based grading must be a net-zero change proposition; that doing more of one thing should lead to doing less of something else.


Psychology of Conspiracy | Katie Novak | Atypical Assessments (2)

In Don’t @ Me (1:58) Tom explores the psychological motives behind why some people believe strongly in conspiracy theories and potentially how to support those who realize the theories were wrong. Then, in the interview (14:08), Tom is joined by author, speaker, and consultant Katie Novak to discuss the impact of Universal Design for Learning. Finally, in Assessment Corner (1:09:36), Tom, in part 2 of his exploration of atypical assessment formats, highlights how teachers can engineer effective collaborative conversations in their classrooms; he also thinks aloud as to how story-telling can be more embedded into a culturally responsive assessment system.


Professional Judgment | Rick Wormeli | Atypical Assessments

In Don’t @ Me (2:48) Tom asserts that now is the time for teachers to reclaim their professional judgment; however, to do so, he also asserts that teachers must be prepared for the responsibilities that come with it. Then, in the interview (15:14), Tom is joined by author, speaker, and consultant Rick Wormeli to discuss the events of January 6, as well as a number of different current (and future) educational topics. Finally, in Assessment Corner (1:15:23), Tom, part 1 of 2, details why “atypical assessment formats” must be embraced if teachers are going to remain relevant and culturally responsive.


Rehumanize Each Other | Tom Hierck | Grading: Verb or Noun?

In Don’t @ Me (2:35), in the wake of the events in Washington, DC on January 6, Tom makes the case for why we need to rehumanize our human connections. Then, in the interview (15:42), Tom is joined by Canadian author, speaker, and consultant Tom Hierck to discuss student behavior and school culture. Finally, in Assessment Corner (1:01:39), Tom addresses a question about eliminating “grading” and why it’s so important to be clear on whether we mean “grading the verb” or “grading the noun.”