What If Assessment Elevated Learning Instead of Ranking Students?


Reposted from the Teaching Channel:

The most important assessment that takes place in any school is not the end-of-year test; it is the assessment that is going on all day long in the mind of every student. Each student is continually assessing his or her attitude, behavior, understanding, and work — “Is this piece good enough to turn in?” “Do I actually understand this concept?”

If we hope to improve student learning, we need to get inside student minds and turn up the dial for quality. Most importantly, we need to build into every student agrowth mindset — the confidence that he or she can improve through hard work — and a passion for becoming a better student and a better person.

In many schools, assessment practices provide little of this information and inspiration for students and their families. Assessment is typically seen as something “done to students,” not as a set of tools they can use for their growth. For those who are regularly ranked below average (almost half the students in any school), assessment practices often take the heart out of personal motivation. At Expeditionary Learning (EL), we focus on student-engaged assessment — a system of eight interrelated practices that positions students as leaders of their own learning.

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