Curriculum And Asses Essay

1228 words - 5 pages

smentAssessment can be seen as a vital concept when it comes to the realm of education. One of the main functions of assessment is for the improvement of learners in order for them to do well in their schooling. In the schooling context the most prevalent forms of assessment are those tests that are given at the end of the year that test a large amount of work that was taught throughout the year. This is known as assessment of learning or summative assessment. Another form of assessment that is lacking in the schooling context is that of assessment for learning also known as formative assessment. This assessment is aimed at adapting to the students needs when encountering learning in a ...view middle of the document...

Furthermore most tests and examinations appear in a written form. Therefore the “pupils proficiency is determined on the basis of their written performance alone” (Joffe, 1993, p. 46). Here we see that assessment of learning does not cater for the needs of children that are visually, audibly or mathematically inclined. Therefore assessment of learning is a form of summative assessment that tests the student on a large sum of work accumulated throughout the year. It is thus “primarily designed to serve the purposes of accountability, or of ranking, or of certifying competence” (Black, 2003, p. 2).

On the other hand assessment for learning is designed to “assess the learning process by providing feedback to the learner [in a form of detailed comments and not marks] which can be used to highlight areas for further study therefore improving future performance” McAlpine. (2002) Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Grading. Retrieved March 18, 2012, from http://www.umdnj.edu/idsweb/idst5350/assess_eval_test_grade.htm. Formative unlike summative assessment is a “build up to the final assessment” (Clarke, 2005, p.71). While summative assessment consists of externally imposed testing programmes, formative assessment on the other hand “emphasises the importance of the involvement of the student... [a form of] assessment that encourages learning, fosters motivation by emphasising progress and achievement rather than failure” (Clarke, 2005, p. 72).
In a schooling context I believe that the most appropriate form of assessment would be assessment for learning also known as formative assessment as it allows pupils “to form a more detailed opinion of their abilities which can then be used to inform further study, concentrating student’s efforts on appropriate areas and hence improving overall performance” McAlpine. (2002) Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Grading. Retrieved March 18, 2012, from http://www.umdnj.edu/idsweb/idst5350/assess_eval_test_grade.htm.
My reason with disagreeing with summative forms of assessment can be seen in many instances. Firstly, in a study done on the value of formative assessment for learning, an experiment was carried out to test if allocating marks and comments simultaneously to a student would affect further improvement in future tests or whether allocating comments only would serve as a starting point for improvement and motivation rather than demotivation and dislike of a particular subject. Results showed that when students were given feedback and grades, in most cases the feedback was ignored. Furthermore this created competition in the class where top students were rewarded for...

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