I was in @twitter chat recently and noticed that lots of tweets were being made that made assessment seem like an 'extra' it is restricting pedagogy and then I decided I would ask some friends and fellow teachers what they thought. Well the words 'teaching and assessment' start teachers talking quicker than almost any other topic I can think of. Oh second to 'reports'!
Is it ok? Should it happen? What kind? For who? Is it just political? The questions and responses come flying thick and fast. Mostly with well argued thinking and justifications. It is really quite an amazing thing that there is so much passion connected to assessment.
Passion that seems to evoke emotion and energy into why we should or shouldn't do it seems to me to be a wonderful thing. If the focus on assessment is on learning and identifying goals and opportunities to progress and extend thinking. I guess it comes down to purpose.
As a teacher in an IBPYP school assessment is fluid and very much part of the inquiry pedagogy in my classes, checking for understanding, wanting students to improve, empowering students to take ownership of their learning, knowing what they know so they can move forward...what is wrong with any of that?
I think the link between mindset and time management are very clear. When you see assessment as informing and supporting teaching and learning and not as something that is extra and takes more time then their is a shift that happens in classroom practice.
Formative assessment in my mind is probably the single most helpful thing we as teachers can do with our students. It is not something new, great teachers have always done it, but for many it is a case of 'oh I do it when I have time'. What a missed opportunity. Knowing what my students are thinking and what they know, underpins the provocations and resources that we make available to facilitate inquiry, support understanding and encourage the connections that they make.
When we check for understanding, we are doing so to ensure that students are successful, that students have an understanding of the concept. Formative assessments are for learning! By embracing formative assessment, teachers are aware of students through the whole learning engagement process. Formative assessment more accurately reflects student level competency of understanding.
Teaching in an IBPYP school; interests: student agency, technology integration, growth mindset & the continuous cycle of improvement that is the world of education, learning and being!