Promoting Assessment as Learning: Improving the Learning Process

Promoting Assessment as Learning: Improving the Learning Process

Promoting Assessment as Learning: Improving the Learning Process

Promoting Assessment as Learning: Improving the Learning Process


Promoting Assessment as Learning sets out to re-examine the relationship between assessment and learning in the classroom. It argues that assessment is an important part of pupil learning, and needs to be understood by pupils in order to help them make judgements about their own progress. This timely book explores the theories of learning and assessment within the context of national tests and also through the theme of self-assessment. It offers practical approaches to help teachers translate national policy into meaningful classroom practice, and suggests ways to help pupils develop their own assessment skills through a process of consolidation, reflection and revision. This book will appeal to new and practising primary school teachers and headteachers and those on in-service courses. It will also be of interest to students on initial teacher training and higher degree courses.


‘Can you light a fire?’

(Teacher Training Agency 2001)

Any teacher who has survived a decade of educational reform may well respond with ‘give me a chance’ or ‘yes—inspite of the superfluous documentation’. The focus of the Teacher Training Agency’s (TTA) invitation to a career in teaching surely strikes a chord with many in the profession whose central aim is echoed in this challenge. Its underlying argument is a powerful one. It catches completely the insight that the overarching task of the teacher is to excite pupils in the complex world of learning—lifelong learning. It gives proper recognition to the truth that, far from being receptacles for the insertion of tightly prepacked knowledge, children are active participants in authentic learning. Unless the fire be lit in the mind and spirit of the growing child, whatever the outcome, it will be something less than that promised in such a learning experience. The quest for genuine learning, however, demands a commitment far removed from sentiment. It can never forsake the pursuit of clarity and precision. It cannot be content with vague feeling or undue indulgent emotion. If the child’s mind is to be sharpened, his will challenged, his interest aroused and his whole being engaged in the course of construction and discovery, an evocative flint is essential.

Certainly, concern with educational standards fired national reform. A National Curriculum accompanied by national assessments now seeks to ensure that school provision is suitably surveyed, and commensurate with national needs. It is hardly surprising, then, that assessment issues and practices have featured prominently since the passing of the Education Reform Act, 1988. The involvement of

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