mercredi 1 juin 2011

Seven Practices for Effective Learning by Jay McTighe and Ken O'Connor

November 2005,
Volume 63, Number 3
  This article is a must read for all teachers. One of the biggest problems I face as a teacher is the amount of professional reading I would like to do versus the time I have to get it done. I would love to see more articles like this one, where the essential points are made in a short article that gives a clear picture of what effective teaching looks like.

The practices described in this article list principles of what education is meant to be. I believe most teachers are in agreement with what is proposed here, but many become overwhelmed with the other demands we face (lesson preparation, assessment and evaluation, parent communication, coaching, report writing, extra-curricular activities) and experience real challenges when it comes to putting them into effect.

To begin with, the article defines the three types of evaluation used throughout the course of the teaching and learning process. Each has a role to play in assessment.

  • Diagnostic assessments: are primarily used to get to know your students. Once we know who we are teaching, lessons can be created to meet their needs. By using diagnostic assessments, we discover what the students already know, what they understand correctly, what they misunderstand, and what their interests are, among other important facts.
  • Formative assessments: are used to provide the necessary feedback to give direction to learning. This is the part the student does or understands well and this is what needs to be done next to continue on the path towards mastery. It also provides the teacher with information about the progress of the students in order to offer individualized guidance in the learning process.
  • Summative assessments: give a portrait of what the student has learned by the end of an instructional segment. It defines the student's standing after instruction, practice and collection of summative evidence has taken place.
The Seven practices for effective learning are listed as follows:

  1. Use summative assessments to frame meaningful learning goals.
  2. Show criteria and models in advance.
  3. Assess before teaching.
  4. Offer appropriate choices.
  5. Provide feedback early and often.
  6. Encourage self-assessment and goal setting.
  7. Allow new evidence of achievement to replace old evidence.
Each of these practices are described in such a way that the reader can see it as a living thing in the classroom. The examples provided are real and believable. I found it easy to visualize each of these practices in my classroom. They are not really a new way of thinking, but a reminder of what we all know to be true.

If I had to recommend an article on exemplary teaching practices and effective use of evaluation and assessment, this one would be it.

0 commentaires: