Wednesday April 16th 2014

$1.1 million-plus Gates grants: ‘Galvanic’ bracelets that measure student engagement

Washington Post | June 11, 2012

By Valerie Strauss

In the ‘you-can’t-make-up-this-stuff’ category, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is spending about $1.1 million to develop a way to physiologically measure how engaged students are by their teachers’ lessons. This involves “galvanic skin response” bracelets that kids would wear so their engagement levels could be measured.

If this tells us anything, it is that the obsession with measurement and data in school reform has reached new nutty heights.

Here’s the description of the $498,055 grant to Clemson University that was awarded in November (but that just recently became widely known by Susan Ohanian and Diane Ravitch):

Purpose: to work with members of the Measuring Effective Teachers (MET) team to measure engagement physiologically with Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) bracelets which will determine the feasibility and utility of using such devices regularly in schools with students and teachers.

Read the entire article here


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