I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about assessment in the classroom lately.
And I’m trying to get my head around how much especially in the Senior Years (11 and 12) we bombard kids with formal assessment. I’m talking about the assessment that we give at the end of a topic or unit. The assessment that doesn’t allow for reflection because we are moving on to the next topic or unit… The Summative Stuff…
I don’t think it is necessary. All it does is push students to only learn what they need for the test instead of gaining a love of learning and actually making the learning long term.
Now don’t get me wrong there is a place for pre-assessment, there is a place for showing mastery. I’m just not sure a 2 hour exam shows mastery. Nor do I believe that memorising the answers is useful. There are very few (I can’t think of any) situations in real life where you need to memorise the answer and if you don’t know the answer then you lose your job. In most jobs if you don’t know the answer you go and Google it!
Maybe we nee dot move summative assessment away from your final exam or assignment to observations, task, presentations, checklists or portfolios.
Once a child achieves mastery of a skill we tick it off and say great job move on to the next skill…
If nothing else it would remove that annoying statement at the beginning of a topic or unit “Do I need to know this for the test Ma’am?”