- Say that you’ll talk to them after you’ve run a series of tests?
- Give them an overview of their child’s current approach to school and some insights into their strengths and areas for improvement?
The conversation between parent and teacher will be informed by the teacher judgement, summing up the child’s efforts over the recent past. Both these conversations and the writing of reports, whether short and succinct or slightly longer, are examples of summative assessments. They are a point in time, a sort of child MOT, only good on the day, as the next day, hopefully continued progress will have moved the child on.
Security in knowing the child, in a rounded form and in relation to others, is key to all sound judgements. Knowing what is good, or good enough and how it could be even better provides the basis for decisions. Learning is a journey and a process, capable of being tweaked and altered to cater for need.
So why are we seemingly so afraid of assessment? Shouldn’t it be the hallmark of good teaching that the teacher knows the children sufficiently well to be able to sum them up in an instant? Just knowing the child enables in-lesson decisions from the teacher, even on the level of “they’ve got/not got it”, with instant next steps decisions made.
Life is full of snap decisions; teaching is no different.
Everything is based on assessment, in reality. It’s your scale of reference that make the difference.