Friday, July 18, 2008

Role of assessment

Assessment is a key part of teaching - it gives students/teachers/parents feedback on how the teacher and student is doing.

Yet, the curriculum framework changed the primary source of reporting from teacher judgement to completed assessment. This is wrong and has significantly degraded the accuracy of reporting.

To predominantly use written or oral assessment as the key indicator of performance does not adequately show progress of a student. Students can perform well in a test and not be at the level indicated (especially a week after the test). Students can perform poorly in a test and be well above the indicated mark. A test only is an indication of student understanding - a better indication is normally where a teacher believes the student is at.

After all a teacher sees a student in a range of contexts and under different levels of stress and assistance. We know that experienced teachers can gauge a student with few minutes of seeing their work, and are just as quick to change that opinion given the correct feedback from a student.


  1. Nice blog

    The increase in compulsory assessment for primary school students over the past decade is out of control. Surely this is holding teachers back in some regards.


    Banjo Smyth

  2. I agree, having done my pre-service practicum at primary schools. The cycle motivate->teach->assess->record drove me bananas. The time would have been better spent revising existing concepts and spending time developing them further.

  3. oh, and thanks for the comment about the blog!!


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