Cassandra Erkens

Cassandra Erkens is a presenter, facilitator, coach, trainer of trainers, keynote speaker, author, and above all, a teacher. She presents nationally and internationally on assessment, instruction, school improvement, and professional learning communities.

View full profile

"I see you."


Categories: Assessment

There is a South African Zulu tribe custom of greeting those you encounter with the word sawubona, which literally translates to “I see you.” The tribe’s custom underpins their belief that they must acknowledge each other’s existence in order to exist. Without sawubona, individuals do not have meaning or purpose.

Read more

The Power of Confusion

Categories: Instruction

Confusion is not only a natural part of the learning process; it might also be a necessary part. When learners engage in a productive struggle, they must 1) challenge their own preconceived notions, 2) integrate concepts in a manner that makes sense to them, and 3) create meaning in a manner that supports their personal integration and retention of the new information or skill. They must be able to think their way through learning.

Read more

Learning to Learn on chalk board

2Comment tail

Learning to Learn

Categories: Assessment

How many of us know someone who has the capacity to hear, but does not seem to listen? (You’re probably thinking about a significant friend or family member right about now.) Capacity does not equate to skill. Learning can be like that: many of us have the capacity to learn, but the skill has never been completely developed. Ask yourselves: where in our K–12 system do we stop and teach kids how to learn? We just start teaching as if they will learn. By now we all know that our assumption—or at least our blind adherence to the notion that learning will just happen—is incorrect. We are losing some of our learners who do not understand how to learn.

Read more