Exhibitions of learning

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One of the teaching techniques popularized by Ted Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools is the exhibition. Exhibitions are authentic assessments that are ideal for inclusive classrooms in that they allow students to use a wide range of methods to show what they know, incorporate their own interests, work independently or with partners, and access technology and other supports as they work and as they show what they know.

In this article by Kathleen Cushman, she explains that exhibitions are often as simple as an oral presentation but may also involve formal projects or portfolios. All of these experiences typically center on what the Coalition calls “essential questions” and ask students to not just explore answers, but to delve into new questions. That is, the exhibition is meant to engage the student in an intellectual investigation, not just evaluate recall, memorization, or “the right answers”. This model not only allows educators to teach and target multiple learning goals at once but to focus on different objectives for different learners.

About Paula Kluth