Module 1: Empathy Assignment

Why do students who are so close to passing classes (High School) still fail?

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Empathy Interview Guide 

Meeting student needs starts with deep understanding. Empathy interviews drive toward the why to uncover new insights. 

Conduct your interview: 


Why don’t students pass classes, especially when they are close to passing?

It was “too hard”

I didn’t realize how close I was.

I was sick.

I had stuff going on.

I didn’t care enough

No one cared whether I passed or not

I didn’t understand the consequences of not passing

My teacher said that “I could not make up the missing work”

I failed the final

I didn’t know how to study

I didn’t know how to manage my time

I gave up


Join the conversation:

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Melanie Westover - The topic of, 'My teacher said, "I could not make up the missing work"' and the impact of zeros in a grading scale has been a recent focus of conversation among my colleagues. One of our Instructional Coaches, Dawn Nogueiro  found a remarkable article from ASCD that illustrates the problem of zeros that kids are not allowed to fix. The article also proposes alternate views and methods of grading that can lessen the impact of a zero and put the focus back on student learning and progress. I know your topic is bigger and broader than just this issue, but I thought you might want to check out the article Dawn found:

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