RTTI is a language to describe an important aspect of learning and helps you make optimal use of the learning potential of every student. It is a practical tool for learning and development.
RTTI has been developed because it became obvious there was no convenient language to describe learning. For students, parents and teachers alike, this leads to problems. For example, a teacher informs the class about an upcoming test: ‘In two weeks you will be given an important test, so please write down in your calendar: Learn Chapter 3.’
The question is then: what does that ‘learn’ really mean? Some students will focus on memorizing the chapter as best they can, or at least read through it a couple of times. Other students have practiced the exercises in the workbook and therefore assume things will go well at the test. Other students again scored satisfactory for a smaller test and believe they don’t have to study so hard and that things will be fine at the test.
Students cannot be very effective when they do not know what the specific learning goals are.
For parents, it can be difficult that there is no unambiguous language that describes learning. Especially in the first year, parents like to help their children prepare for a test. Often, disagreements occur when the parent expects the child to quote what the textbook states, to which the child would respond: ‘my teacher does not check things that way’. Sometimes parents also ask the teacher about low grades: ‘At home my son knew all the answers! Can you explain his grade?’
At school, large differences between the average grades between school years can occur. This can be difficult to work with and it can be hard to determine the trend. For example, a student of havo 1 could end the year with an average score of 7.2, while scoring for the same subject an average of 6.1 the year after. Often, grades in senior years will differ greatly from those in junior years.
The predictive value of the final grades in the first year for individual study program advice is not always adequate. Sometimes students score an 8 in their first year but only a 6 at the CS(P)E, or vice versa: students score a 6 in the first year and an 8 at their final exams. It also happens that students themselves base their decisions on wrong assumptions, because there is no adequate language about learning itself: in senior grades, teachers sometimes hear “Had I known that your classes would be like this, I would have chosen another course / section / sector …”
During meetings to discuss student progress or grade report meetings, it is easy to miscommunicate. Some teachers assume that students with an average score of 8 therefor must have insight into the subject matter, even when the tests did not really assess that. Other teachers might have assessed insight and therefore have a different view of that student’s progress.
A practical example: during discussions of a further study advice for a student, three teachers share they do not think the highest level education would be suitable because the student systematically shows lack of insight, despite targeted interventions. For other subjects, the student has a solid 8 as an average. Before voting, the student’s mentor adds: “he has good work ethics, his homework is always in order and his parents would really like this”.
The student starts at the highest level education at the school, but it shows the he does not develop sufficiently and has to be moved to a lower education level. Clearly, only grades do not provide sufficient information. From the grades alone, one can not infer if the student has memorized all facts and did all work assignments on time, or if the student has insight into the subject matter.
Students benefit from specific feedback, and a relevant determination advice.
RTTI is a language that adequately addresses problems like these by describing the learning process.