My own research and interest into the issues swirling around assessment in schools coincides with the new purpos/ed campaign. Below is another comment left on the Google Doc from which I am highlighting and instigating some further debate around the subject.
Teachers and leaders need to see this as a change in philosophy and pedagogy and that will take good cpd and leadership to embed. It is a shift in balance of teachers’ skills; requires planning which doesn’t depend on fixed SOW as has to flex and bend to meet the needs of young people, there can be no ‘one size fits all’. Also time has to given for reflection which means less ‘coverage’ but deeper learning.
this was commented on by another contributor:
reflection is especially important to give children the time to comment on how they feel about their learning; all too often the time given for plenary/reflection is painfully short. Also, reflection needs to be modelled and focussed to be effective…
An approach being unique to each individual school, even each class and child is something that must be baked into assessment for learning. This malleability must also be reflected in the curriculum that is being used as a foundation and also validated by senior staff in school. There must be a clear message that if assessment takes a curriculum or project into an unexpected direction it is ok, there must be space for the students to feel this and for the teacher to know it is OK.
All too often we are worried about “coverage”, and our supposed accountability to that, to ever venture from the well trodden path – but it is often on the edges where we find the most powerful learning opportunities.
One size will not fit all, as the contributor rightly points out and we all will face different challenges in the classes we work with – where there is a need for consistency is in the space provided to do it well.
The second comment touches on this point. Reflection is all to often an after-thought, nor is it actively taught, demonstrated and explicitly modelled. There needs to be more discussion about learning and the process we go through and this needs to be brought to the surface by the teacher.
Teachers and pupils alike need the space (from school leaders,from local authorities, from government) to adapt what they are doing to improve the learning process: the curriculum space to explore the edges; the timetable space to reflect on the process and the professional space to make judgements about where learning is heading.
Pic: Deep under