“It is impossible to talk about the single story without talking about power.”
“Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person.”
How do we celebrate the strengths and contributions of each individual? How do we show that we are not a single story, but a collection of stories that create the anthology of who we are now? How do we convey that the story is not complete, that it is a work in progress? That there are many choices and crossroads ahead? That we have control of the choices and pace?
Our Faculty Assessment and Annual Review (FAAR) plan offers us the opportunity to collect informing feedback from different points of view. This is an opportunity to have our work, leading, and learning represented by multiple perspectives. It decreases the danger of a single story.
I, the assessed, have the opportunity to garner feedback from my peers, my students, my “managers,” and myself. I have the responsibility and the opportunity to process and summarize this data for myself and share with my team of critical friends and my admin. I am challenged and empowered to ask questions about my work, thinking, and learning. I am offered opportunities to calibrate my understanding and view of my work with others who witness and experience it. I contribute to my story as do my students, my colleagues, and other community members.
I wonder how we can translate this into a formative assessment plan for our young learners. Where do they have a voice in the assessment of their learning and growth? Do we offer opportunities to reflect and revise?…to problem-find and problem-solve? Do I offer my learners the opportunity to have a voice in their feedback and assessment? Do I offer choice in their assessment? Having my voice and choice represented is a critically important component of my professional learning plan. If it is good and important for me, wouldn’t it be good and important for my learners?
Chimamanda Adichie concludes her talk with:
“I would like to end with this thought: That when we reject the single story, when we realize that there is never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise.”
We strive for learners to have multiple representations of ideas and concepts. Do we also help ourselves and others have multiple representations of who we are and can become?