vendredi 1 avril 2011

Multiple Methods of Assessment - Volante

It is one thing to give a test to measure the learning that has occurred, but if the test is not representative of what and how the student is learning, it is inefficient and invalid. Traditionally, we have used what we were exposed to as students, but if we continue to rely on what we know without upgrading our methods with our research, then our research is pointless. Why do research if not to improve our results by applying it?

I believe rummaging through the curriculum guides would be a worthwhile experience for most teachers regardless of years of experience. It is easy to get into a routine by repeating the sheets and tests of yesteryear. The challenge is to continually search for other ways of reaching our students. We need to know them. What works for one group, may be ineffective with another. During my student teaching experience, I was a bit shocked that my cooperating teacher was using a very old program with her students. I thought surely there was something more modern she could be using. She explained to me that she had all the modern stuff and that this program was the one her students best responded to. Lesson learned. I have always remembered that the method I use is based as much on who my students are and what they need as it is on what my style and knowledge tell me to use.

The curriculum guides provide a multitude of assessment tools to be selected by the classroom teacher. If we go back from time to time and become familiar with them, we are expanding our own repertoire as well as providing more opportunity for students to demonstrate their learning.

When designing an assessment tool, we need to be aware of the skills we are measuring - not only the content. As a new teacher, a colleague once told me, "Remember, you are teaching the child - not the curriculum." It has always stuck with me and the content becomes secondary to the person when you realize that it doesn"t really matter what year a historical event occurred, but it does matter that a student has the necessary skills to find the year.

In summary, we need to be sure that what and how we are assessing reflects what the student needs to grow.

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