Assessment in Secondary Schools: The New Teacher's Guide to Monitoring, Assessment, Recording, Reporting, and Accountability

Assessment in Secondary Schools: The New Teacher's Guide to Monitoring, Assessment, Recording, Reporting, and Accountability

Assessment in Secondary Schools: The New Teacher's Guide to Monitoring, Assessment, Recording, Reporting, and Accountability

Assessment in Secondary Schools: The New Teacher's Guide to Monitoring, Assessment, Recording, Reporting, and Accountability

Synopsis

"This is a very important book. Assessment is one of the most technically and professionally challenging of topics for new teachers. Val Brooks has brought her own impressive technical expertise to bear, and sets out the key professional demands in a thorough, logical and clear way. The book draws extensively on practical examples which exemplify and develop the argument. New teachers will find it an invaluable guide; experienced teachers will find that it widens their understanding of assessment as a tool for learning" - Chris Husbands, University of Warwick

"Mentors will find much to aid their sessions with student teachers, while senior staff responsible for professional development will have a sound, easily read source of material. Highly recommended" - British Journal of Educational Studies

  • How can new teachers use assessment to enhance their teaching?
  • How can assessment help pupils to learn?
  • What are the arrangements for testing and examinations and the statutory assessment requirements at secondary school level?
This book is aimed at students who are preparing to teach in secondary schools, and newly qualified teachers in their induction year. The entire text is devoted to assessment and therefore it is able to offer an in-depth consideration of aspects of assessment which exercise teachers at the beginning of their career, for example the relationship between assessment and learning, how assessment contributes to planning, ways of marking pupils' work, writing reports for parents and meetings with parents. Although it is informed by theory and research, the text has a practical orientation. It provides practical examples for readers to consider in developing their own practices and makes suggestions for activities intended to help beginning teachers to develop their own ideas and insights into assessment. The text is written for a graduate and undergraduate audience and aims to promote a thoughtful, well-informed approach to assessment and critical awareness of issues which arise out of practice.

Excerpt

Students enrolled on initial teacher training (ITT) courses are required to meet an exacting set of assessment standards (Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) 1998a). One of the four areas into which these standards are divided is monitoring, assessment, recording, reporting and accountability (MARRA). Each year, the students with whom I work are asked to evaluate their course of study. These evaluations suggest that MARRA is one of the most inaccessible elements of the training programme. It is unsurprising, therefore, that when I visit students during placement, I find little evidence that they are making an informed and systematic use of assessment to support their teaching or their pupils' learning. There are scant references to assessment in their planning, evaluations and conversations with me. When I focus our discussions on assessment, two things are noticeable. First, many students have a partial and unhelpful view of assessment as an appendage to their teaching. Competent teaching is the goal to which they aspire and assessment is seen as an adjunct to this. Consequently, if the role of assessment is considered at all, it is seen as a bolt-on activity. Second, they tend to think in terms of terminal assessment events: an end-of-topic test or the piece of homework which marks the culmination of a class's work on a topic. The notion that assessment should be an integral element of teaching and learning – taking place informally as well as formally and in fleeting assessment incidents as well as in organized events – is at odds with their traditional view of assessment. The concept of assessment for learning as well as of learning is one which students find difficult to internalize and translate into practice. Nevertheless, when their classroom practice is observed, there is evidence of an intuitive use of formative assessment (Section 1.2). But only if these students can make it a systematic element of their conscious practice will they be able to harness the . . .

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