Principle #8: Assessment

Principle #8: Assessment should be an integral part of the learning process.

Adults should adjust resources, supervision, and support based on the progress of each child.

My 10-year-old daughter requires extra support and time to master math concepts. Instead of pushing her through the material and giving her poor grades, I give her the time and resources she needs to be successful. I use math curriculum and teaching methods that work for her, including multi-sensory learning.

Assessments should be directly linked to student goals.

When I assess my daughter’s learning, I determine how well she is meeting her goals. Standardized tests are problematic because they may or may not test children on what they are actually learning. Basing success on standardized tests limits the teacher’s ability to individualize learning.

Assessments may take a variety of forms, including observations, portfolios, projects, performances, and/or tests.

I assess my daughter’s math abilities through observation. If she struggles with a topic, then we work on it more. If a topic is particularly difficult, then we set it aside, and come back to it later. Once a topic is mastered, we move on.

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My daughter’s swim coach also assesses through observation. The coach bases my daughter’s goals directly on her ability and needs. Swim meets are a way to assess how well she is doing compared to her peers. My daughter also receives ribbons based on improvement, so swim meets provide a way to assess personal progress as well.

Self-reflection is an important part of the learning process.

Parents and children can practice self-reflection by considering whether or not their goals are suitable. If they’re struggling to meet certain goals, they should consider allocating more time to these goals, or they should consider a new approach. Over time some goals will need to be adjusted, and new goals will need to be made.

Copyright © 2017 Sharon J. Miller

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