Dean Elizabeth Moje served on a panel of experts for an Education Town Hall hosted by WDET 101.9FM, Chalkbeat Detroit, and Metro Parent Magazine. The Town Hall was geared toward answering the questions of parents and featured a team of education officials, health officials, parent advocates, and learning experts.
The panelists shared perspectives on the safety of returning to classrooms this fall, issues of educational equity and inclusion, learning loss during the extended time students have been out of schools, and the effectiveness of online learning.
On the topic of learning loss, Moje said: “If we only think about this as loss and start to take up deficit perspectives, we lose an opportunity to think about children as assets and to think about what they do bring to the classroom and what they have been learning – and there are many examples all over the United States of children and parents engaged in all kinds of learning activities and of children engaged in online learning activities.”
Moje suggests that teachers use the same strategies they use at the beginning of every school year. “The school year should begin with really rich formative assessments,” Moje said, in order to understand where the students are in terms of their development. Teachers should continue to engage in instructional assessment to try things out and assess children for the purposes of refining instruction. Differentiated instruction will be also be important because there will be disparities in access to educational resources over the past six months.
Moje added that this is a time to be very thoughtful about testing and she urged leaders to pull back on standardized testing and policies that are based on standardized testing, such as grade retention.