Teaching or assessing?

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Let the students learn!

We are teachers, teachers teach. Teachers should focus 90% of their time and energy into quality teaching. So why do I feel like an assessor?

If we can assess students simply and accurately but  efficiently why not do it?

Why is much of our assessment long and painful with “success” most often achieved by the students whose strengths are most organisation or have the most stable home life. Is this fair assessment?

I believe simple focused assessment would deliver a number of positive outcomes:

  1. More teaching time/more genuine learning time
  2. More accurate assessment of ability
  3. Lessen teacher workload-leading to high standards of teaching-more time for genuine pedagogical advances in the individual through mentoring etc.
  4. Lessen student stress at assessment times-leading to better mental health and student learning

I strongly believe an approach that focuses more on quality teaching and reducing the quantity but improving the quality of assessment would benefit students and teachers alike. 

How would it be achieved?

  1. Looking at the current units and focusing on the learning objectives.
  2. Challenging the team to devise accurate and simplified assessment delivered in the least intrusive way in the classroom.
  3. Structuring assessment times with all subjects in mind-stagger assessment due dates.
  4. Breaking down old habits and beliefs.
  5. Being courageous. The world is results and data driven-we all know this does not deliver the best learning outcomes for our students.
  6. Educating teachers and the community about the benefits of this adjusted approach to assessing and learning.

As teachers and professionals we all know this. I’ve written nothing new here. The challenge is to do something about it.

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