What starts to happen to assessment when teachers learn about their children’s informal learning?
- 488 Downloads
Classroom assessment practices are greatly influenced by national and local policies on assessment. Typically, these include accountability requirements for schools to evidence and report their students’ learning in the form of specific learning outcomes, calibrated against national benchmark standards of achievement and progression. An implication for teachers is that their understanding of children’s learning is influenced by an official curriculum that is more likely to be weighted towards particular policy priorities, and desired learning outcomes. This means the knowledge, skills and understanding that children develop outside school are less likely to be included in classroom assessment measures or judgments about desirable progress and achievement. This article explores what happens to teachers’ thinking when they learn about their children’s informal learning outside school and begin to relate to learners in a different way. The findings reported here from a New Zealand three-year longitudinal study identified possibilities for teachers to assess expanded conceptions of children’s learning within the classroom, even though the pressures of assessment against National Standards were ever present. We argue that teachers engaging with knowledge of their students’ informal learning act as a catalyst to rethink and re-conceptualise learning more broadly. Incorporating a strong student voice component in assessment, together with a focus on ipsative assessment, enables teachers to mitigate some of the unintended educational consequences of assessment accountability policies and practices.
KeywordsInformal learning Self-assessment Student voice Teacher assessment Student agency
Funding was provided by Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (Grant No. 24699).
- Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2006). Developing a theory of formative assessment. In J. Gardner (Ed.), Assessment and learning (pp. 81–100). London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Bourke, R. (2010). The chameleonic learner: Learning and self-assessment in context. Wellington: New Zealand Council for Educational Research.Google Scholar
- Harris, M. (2007). Introduction. In M. Harris (Ed.), Ways of knowing: New approaches in the anthropology of experience and learning (pp. 1–24). New York: Berghan Books.Google Scholar
- Henze, R. (1992). Informal teaching and learning. A study of everyday cognition in a Greek community. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Marton, F. (2014). Necessary conditions of learning. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Education. (2017). Learning progressions framework. Retrieved from http://assessment.tki.org.nz/Assessment-tools-resources/Learning-Progression-Frameworks.
- O’Neill, J., & Bourke, R. (2014). Teaching and learning in everyday settings. In A. S. George, S. Brown, & J. O’Neill (Eds.), Facing the big questions in teaching: Purpose, power and learning (2nd ed.). Melbourne, VIC: Cengage Learning.Google Scholar
- Rogoff, B. (2003). The cultural nature of human development. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Silberman-Keller, D. (2006). Images of time and place in the narrative of nonformal pedagogy. In Z. Beckerman, N. Burbules, & D. Silberman-Keller (Eds.), Learning in places: The informal education reader (pp. 251–272). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
- Stobart, G. (2008). Testing times. The uses and abuses of assessment. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar