Friday, February 13, 2015

Who owns the (assessment of the) learning?

Yesterday I had lunch with our newest R&D member, Abhishek (a longer blog post about this young man and what he has been doing is coming soon).  We talked about the move from information to knowledge to wisdom.  In fact students are surrounded by content information, and what they need help with is to decipher it, explore it and curate it.  The job of the teachers is to support students as they do this, and eventually help students to turn the knowledge into wisdom.

Teachers also assess students to check on their understanding.  This assessment can be formative and summative and it's important for teachers to also assess the types of assessments they are giving students, which is why in a PYP school we finish every unit with a reflection on how the summative assessment has allowed students to show their understanding of a unit's central idea and concepts. Charlotte Danielson writes that assessments should also be evaluated on whether they provide opportunities for student choice and whether they allow students to participate in designing the assessments.  She points out that students who are given choices about how they approach assignments and how their work is assessed are actually being given opportunities for engagement, strategic thinking and so also opportunities for deeper learning.

Photo Credit: gw225 via Compfight cc

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