Sunday, November 18, 2012

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One-half credit in Government

The plan was originally, to do a full unit in Government for my daughter's senior year.  When we found out that is was required for accreditation to do 1/2 unit plus 1/2 unit of economics, our plans were changed.  We went from using the textbook, Politics in America , and the Hippocampus Government program to just using Hippocampus and leaving out the written assignments.   That, I hoped would take a good 60-70 hours creating a half credit.

To my surprise, my daughter sped through the information, scoring in the 90th percentile on all tests, within maybe 30 hours tops.  I was concerned that her lack of interest in the subject had translated to
learning for the tests and forgetting, and dismissing it all, as that is her usual M.O.  (If she doesn't like it, it is stupid.)

Soooo, I assigned a term paper.  I had her follow the election.  She had to watch the debates, list the issues, discuss issues versus emotional voting, and to predict the winner.  She did so accurately, and clearly demonstrated in writing, many of the reasons being the same ones brought up on the news now, after she finished writing that portion of the paper.  Besides going through the motions of deciding her own vote on both a policy and emotional level, and knowing the difference between the two, this child opened her paper brilliantly, explaining government from a neighborhood and grassroots level all the way to a national level.  So, my summation that she glossed over the information was incorrect.

If you add the hours it took her to write the paper and the hours she took on the online program, she probably took, 45 to 50 hours tops.  But in the end, I feel like she has a deep enough understanding to gain even a full credit in government even though only a half credit is needed.

Based on her own personal ATTITUDE and aggression toward this subject matter, I don't know if I would give her an A, but I am handing over the finished work to her accreditation person and allowing her to assign the grade.

This just goes to prove to me once again that Carnigie units are outdated.  I feel that assessment is a much better measure of a high school credit than how many hours spent on the subject.  Let's take Algebra for example, if she had stopped studying Algebra after doing, say, 120 hours, she would have never retained enough information to go any further in math.  It took more like 250 hours to get through the subject matter.  Of course once she understood it, all following math courses were finished in less than 100 hours.



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