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Assessment and Differentiation
October 24, 2013 | Volume 9 | Issue 2
Table of Contents
Strategies for Reflective Assessment
John B. Bond
The continued pressures on teachers and administrators to improve test scores, while usually well-intended, are often misguided; reforms often fail to acknowledge the central role of the student. Education mandates have become so obsessed with outcomes that we seem to have forgotten the power of formative assessment, especially its capacity to empower and enable students. Recognizing students and teachers as the people who can make improvements transforms the classroom experience (Scriven, 1991).
At the heart of our assessment dilemma are missed opportunities to harness the energy of students as collaborators in the assessment process. It is not too late, however, for broad implementation of formative assessment strategies in the classroom. Reflective assessment is one such approach. Reflective assessment emphasizes the joint participation of teachers and students in the assessment process. Consistent with the vision of a teacher being a "co-partner and guide in a common enterprise," reflective assessment strategies serve students as well as teachers (Dewey, 1964, p. 10). As students become involved in self-assessment activities, they assume ownership of their learning. Simultaneously, the feedback that the teacher receives helps him or her design instruction that meets the needs of students.
Reflective Assessment Strategies
Reflective assessment strategies can be easily embedded within classroom lessons and activities. The emphasis is always on making formative assessment a seamless part of the learning process. In Teaching, Learning, & Assessment Together: Reflective Assessments for Elementary Classrooms (2010), Arthur Ellis recommends many reflective assessment strategies. Here are a few options that are easy to implement and will encourage students to take ownership of their learning:
Student Learning Improves
An extensive and growing body of empirical research supports the use of reflective assessment strategies (Black & Wiliam, 1998; Bond & Ellis, 2013; Dignath & Büttner, 2008; Gulikers, Bastiaens, Kirschner, & Kester, 2006). Consistently, these studies have demonstrated that learning improves when students are engaged in self-assessment. It is time to fully embrace student participation and ownership in a seamless teaching, learning, and assessment process. The time has come for broad implementation of formative assessment strategies such as reflective assessment.
Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the black box. Phi Delta Kappan, 80(2), 139–148.
Bond, J., & Ellis, A. (2013). The effects of metacognitive reflective assessment on the achievement of fifth and sixth grade students. School Science and Mathematics, 113(5), 227–234. doi:10.1111/ssm.12021.
Dewey, J. (1964). The need for a philosophy of education. In R. D. Archambault (Ed.), John Dewey on education: Selected writings (pp. 3–14). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Dignath, C., & Büttner, G. (2008). Components of fostering self-regulated learning among students: A meta-analysis on intervention studies at primary and secondary school level. Metacognition and Learning, 3(3), 231–264.
Ellis, A. K. (2010). Teaching, learning, & assessment together: Reflective assessments for elementary classrooms. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education, Inc.
Gulikers, J., Bastiaens, T., Kirschner, P., & Kester, L. (2006). Relations between student perceptions of assessment authenticity, study approaches and learning outcome. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 32(4), 381–400.
Scriven, M. (1991). Beyond formative and summative evaluation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
John B. Bond is associate professor of educational administration and supervision at Seattle Pacific University.
ASCD Express, Vol. 9, No. 2. Copyright 2013 by ASCD. All rights reserved. Visit www.ascd.org/ascdexpress.
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