When it comes to assessment, I may have been asking the wrong question. The question that has preoccupied me for some time is: 'How do we make better assessments?' What I should have been asking is: 'How can we make assessment better?' A switch of words. A flip of meaning. A twisted reasoning that has … Continue reading Assessment: beyond stocktaking
How far are you willing to go to secure better exam results for your students? I've been reading around the topic of educational assessment over half term. One of the points of agreement between most people writing on the subject is about the purpose of assessment which, they argue, is to enable the assessor to … Continue reading How do we respond to high stakes testing?
At this time of year, there is no shortage of advice about making resolutions. The New Year is sold to us as a moment of renewal - a chance to become a slightly better version of ourselves. Most of these resolutions don't stick because habits, particularly bad ones like not exercising, are hard to break. … Continue reading Change one thing, change everything
Since National Curriculum levels were removed, secondary schools have been scrabbling around to establish an alternative, hopefully better, way to assess at key stage 3. Most (from what I have seen) have failed. And while it is easy to criticise crass approaches such as the reinvention of flight paths using GCSE grades, it is fair … Continue reading A simple model for KS3 Assessment
In the scramble to 'design' a process for awarding grades this summer there is a risk that we impose a one-size-fits-all approach which fails to recognise disciplinary distinctiveness. Indeed, I would suggest that the quality of the system we design may have an inverse relationship with the uniformity of approach. Consistency of outcomes may require … Continue reading Disciplinary distinctiveness and the awarding of grades
After 24 years of watching other people's children pick up their GCSE results, it is my turn to be the anxious parent. I will go into work today to see how the students at my school have done, then I will go with my daughter tomorrow to see how that unfolds. Double whammy. It is … Continue reading Am I an Enemy of Promise?
This is the third blog post in what has turned out to be a trilogy on the theme of 'What can we infer...?'. Episode 1 ripped in to the practice of examining exercise books as a means of establishing how much students have learnt (here). Episode 2 critiqued Oftsed's approach to lesson observation (here). Episode … Continue reading What can we infer from an end of year test?