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Student Assessment Policy and Practice in Alberta: An Assessment for Learning

  • Jim Brandon
  • Marsi Quarin-Wright
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Educational Leadership book series (SIEL, volume 15)

Abstract

This chapter assesses the degree to which educational policy and practice in the Canadian province of Alberta reflect the best available research evidence in each of the areas of quality teaching, educational leadership, professional learning, and education policy. The assessment indicates the need to embrace the nuanced complexity of evidence-informed policy and practice through consideration of four paradoxes:

Paradox One: While formative assessment has tremendous promise for improving student learning and is enthusiastically embraced by classroom teachers, summative assessment, grading, and reporting must be given equal attention in improving student assessment practice.

Paradox Two: There is considerable research evidence to inform classroom assessment practice. It is important to use such evidence to help educators to develop informed professional judgment rather than to impose informed prescriptions to govern practice.

Paradox Three: There are legitimate concerns about the misuses of external assessment; nevertheless, external assessments are a useful mechanism for building confidence in the provincial school system.

Paradox Four: Alberta Education and key provincial stakeholders hold sharply divergent views on approaches to student assessment. In order to sustain momentum in improving student assessment in the province, movement toward a greater consensus is necessary.

Keywords

Professional Development Formative Assessment Professional Learning Assessment Practice Summative Assessment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Foothills School DivisionHigh RiverCanada

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