"...Only the Good Ones..."

Kim Kastens
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published Feb 9, 2010

Speaking of Haiti, I recently went to a fundraiser for victims of the earthquake at my local yoga studio. Because the audience was so miscellaneous, the teacher called the poses by user-friendly American nicknames rather than by the arcane Sanskrit names. And she told stories.


One of her stories, accompanying the "apple-picking pose," struck me as a parable, with a message for all educators.

When my nephew was very little, our extended family went apple picking. As we got ready to start picking, the boy's father told him to be sure to "...only take the good ones." We spread out in the orchard and picked until our bags were full. When we got home, we unloaded the little boy's apple picking bag-- and found that every apple had one bite taken out of it.

paraphrased from Charlene Brandin, Birchwood Center, 23jan10

The messages I heard for educators, including myself:


  • photo of apple with bite missing
    Kids, of whatever age, may not hear instructions the way you intended--and their interpretation isn't necessarily wrong.
  • "Good" is a complicated construct.
  • Kids can tell the difference between authentic assessment and assessment that only grazes the surface.
  • Authentic assessment is likely to change that which is being assessed.



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