Friday, 2 March 2012

Assessing students up to age 14 - A better future. Part 1 - key components of the way forward

It is of great benefit for students, teachers and parents to have detailed information regarding precisely what each student can do and where their knowledge gaps are.

SATS, as a measure of school accountability are too narrow and skew what schools actually do away from best practice.


SATS levels do not provide much useful information.  It would be much better if detailed information regarding precisely what at student is doing well and what they are struggling with were shared.

Key Components of the Way Forward:
A coherent solution will require two key changes in practice.

1. The integration of formative and summative assessment.
In other words schools systems by which they track the detail of students' progress (APP systems) should lead directly to accreditation and SATS should be abolished.

2. Formative assessment must be made coherent by using different types of assessment for those targets which can be easily tested and those which cannot.
Most current systems of APP are not currently suitable for direct accreditation.  We need to specify and track targets which can be easily tested using different processes to those used to specify and track targets which cannot be easily tested.

In this next series of blogs I will explore how these changes can be achieved and some of the many benefits they will bring to students' education.

Assessing students up to the age of 14 – A better future  QUICK LINKS

1 comment:

  1. Consider:
    If you weigh a pig in Kgs and it has to weigh X Kgs before you can sell it then you have to check as it grows up how many Kgs it weighs.Now is weight of the pig the best measure of the "value" of a pig, is not taste more important? We know what the pig eats and the life it leads influences the taste so we could check what it eats and how it lives. Find another way of assessing the "value" of the pig and you can change how you assess it as it grows up. Problem, you do not know how good the pig tastes until ... well until :-(

    Sometimes you do not know the value of something until it is used or applied. Many employers and even Universities claim that GCSE and GCE examinations do not accurately suggest how good a student is in a particular subject. We get calls for "going back to basics" and "to drive up standards" and suggestions that the examinations are too easy. All of this ignores the fact that the GCSE or GCE examination is a very poor way to assess the value of the learning. In the same way as the weight of the pig, although easy to assess, is not the best way of finding out how it tastes.

    In today's world I suggest it is not what you know but what you understand, what you can learn for yourself and how you apply it that counts. We need problem solvers, creative insight and communication skills. All easily developed by mathematics if you assess its "value" in a different way.

    Just how much does a GCSE weigh anyway?

    Director at Advocating Creativity