The ultimate zen assessment:
You cannot know another you do not know yourself
…it is not possible. You cannot ‘know’ another in the fullest sense. I cannot know you. I ‘see’ your outer coverings, your skin, your body, your clothes. When I speak to you we discover more about each other. All the time we are making judgments and attempting to interpret each others’ responses and so on. Clearly we can get somewhere, but…
‘I’ can ‘know’ ‘you’, up to a point, but that is all. Ultimately I do not know myself, never mind you.
We are always assessing people in general though, through automatic responses, automatic generalisations. ‘I like the look of him.’ ‘People who have their trousers hanging low are stupid.’ ‘I hate people who smoke.’ and so on… These ‘automatisms’ are deeply ingrained. If we are unaware of them, well…what do you think?
As teachers we are required to assess others in more specific ways
For example if its my job to teach you addition it would be very useful for me to know what you already know. At least, that seems a reasonable supposition. How do I do it?
I can only attempt it by spending time and focusing attention on the specific areas I am interested in.
To start with I need to look at myself. Do I know what I am looking for? Do I actually know what I am talking about when I say ‘I want to teach addition?’ Most people don’t apply too much attention in these areas. It’s dark in here and the ground is hard for digging. Read this Sufi story.
Basically, if you know what you are doing and you look and listen openly whilst asking suitable probing questions that’s a start
You will have to spend time and effort and you should work on each child at a time
You may have noticed that this is very hard to achieve in a large class and when you are burdened with too many other demands
to create order, energy is required
in physics, to increase order is to decrease a measure known as entropy
(I like entropy that’s why I’ve put it in….it’s closely related to the most fundamental law of physics, the Second Law of Thermodynamics…)
Entropy tends to increase throughout the whole universe…
Your desk becomes dis-ordered in the course of a day
if you wish to tidy (order) your desk you will have to expend energy
If you wish to assess another, to increase your ordered knowledge of them, you will have to
to expend energy in this sense you will need TIME…
ps For those interested in our most accurate representation of matter: There is no unique universal relation in quantum theory that could stand on equal footing with the position-momentum uncertainty relation. The energy operator is called H the Hamiltonian. There is no dual relationship between H and T.
Not yet, anyhow…