Assessment serves different functions in education and so we discussits purpose in helping learning in the context of other purposes.
In Primary schools assessment, evaluation, testinginvolve gathering information about children’s ideas and skills andmaking judgements for various purposes. • to find out where children are in the development of desired ideas, skills, and attitudes (assessment for learning, or formative assessment). • to find out what children have achieved at a certain point to report to parents (assessment of learning or summative assessment).
What’s the difference between them? It is not so much the way they arecarried out but in the use that is made of theinformation that they provide. They both involve information gatheredby teachers, but it is only formative assessmentwhen the information is used to decide theappropriate next steps for individual children andto adapt teaching accordingly.
Summative Assessment • provides a summary of what has been achieved at a certain time. • can provide information about individual children or about a whole class. •relates to progression in learning against public criteria. • it enables results from different children to be combined for various purposes because they are based on the same criteria. •it should be based on evidence relating to the full range of learning goals.
Why Formative Assessment?• By finding what ideas the children bring to try to understand a newexperience, the teacher is in a position to ensure that these are taken intoaccount, so that new ideas or modification of existing ones, make sense to thechildren.• By noticing how they make their observations, express their predictions, andplan their investigations, the teacher can see where the children are in thedevelopment of these skills, and he or she is in a position to decide if they needhelp to do these things more sicentifically. • Having a clear view of progression in learning and making sure that relevant information about where children are in this progression is picked up during the regular course of interactions with children.
Classroom practice enriches if:• assessment is used by teachers to adapt teaching.• teachers give feedback to children in terms of how to improve their work, not in termsof judgmental comments, grades, or marks.•Children are actively engaged in learning.• children are engaged in self-assessment and in helping to decide the next steps inlearning.•Teachers regard all children as being capable of learning.
Using Assessment to adapt teachingGathering and interpretinginformation Planning investigations•Questioning Do the children:•Asking children to draw their ideas 1. start with a useful general approach even if•Concept maps details are lacking or need further thought?•Discussing words 2. identify the variable that has to be changed•Listening to children-only and the things that should be kept thediscussions same for a fair test?•Observing what children do as well 3. identify what to look for what or measureas looking at what they produce. to obtain a result in an investigation? 4. succeed in planning a fair test using a given framework of questions? 5. compare their actual procedures after the event with what was planned? 6. Spontaneouslystructure their plans so that independent, dependent, and controlled variables are identified and steps taken to ensure that the results obtained are as accurate as they can reasonably be?
ObservingDo the children:1. succeed in identifying obvious differences and similarities between objects and materials?2. make use of several senses in exploring objects or materials?3. Identify differences of detail between objects or materials?4. identify points of similarity between objects where differences are more obvious than similarities5. use their senses appropriately and extend the range of sight using a hand lens or microscope as necessary?6. distinguish form many observations those that are relevant to the problem in hand? Communicating Do the children: 1. Talk freely about their activities and the ideas they have, with or without making a written record? 2. Listen to other’s ideas and look at their results? 3. Use drawings, writing, models, paintings to present their ideas and findings? 4. Use tables, graphs, and charts when these are suggested to record and organize results? 5. Regularly and spontaneously use information books to check or supplement their investigations? 6. Choose a form for recording or presenting results that is both considered and justified in relation tp the type of information and the audience?
Respect for evidenceDo the children:1. attempt to justify conclusions in terms of evidence even if the interpretation is influenced by preconceived ideas?2. realize when the evidence doesn’t fit a conclusion based on expectations, although they may challenge the evidence rather than the conclusion?3. check parts of the evidence that don’t fit an overall pattern or conclusions?4. accept only interpretations or conclusions for which there is supporting evidence?5. show a desire to collect further evidence to check conclusions before accepting them?6. recognize that no conclusion is so firm that it can’t be challenged by further evidence?
Feedback form Teacher to ChildrenHow? mark Tells how well the child has done. Gives a judgment that encourages children to labe lthemselves. Judgmental comments Provides a grade or a mark that children use often to compare themselves with each other or with Non-judgmental comments what they want to achieve. Focuses on the task, not the person Provides comments on what to do next and Encourages children to think ideas about how to do it. about the work, not about their feelings or ability.
Children assessing their own work • give children some way of judging where they are in relation to this goal.•share with childrenthe goal of learning inan activity so that • help them thinkthey know where about their learningthey are going Teachers need to: • ensure children have the skills and confidence to take the next steps.
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