Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Where are we?

If we ask students to write a test, hand in an assignment or complete a task and we take it in so we can mark or grade it and then give it back in a week or month, that information has abandoned the student because it is no longer timely.

This is why summative assessment has so little positive influence on students. If we are to save education, we need to replace our summative assessments with formative feedback. The kids need us to play with them and help them in the now. If you listen carefully, many of them are yelling "where are you?"

Every time we run away to mark or grade in seclusion, we abandon the kids. Every time we burn the midnight oil marking and grading, we burn ourselves out to the point that we no longer have the energy or desire to actually interact with the kids during the day.

Want to make a difference? Stop running away to assess and assess with your students.


  1. I have added your blog to my reader. You raise good points but it is so hard for us to change our ways. I am a parent, not a teacher. I feel really bad for teachers who are tasked with so much with so few resources.

    Yet, we must evolve and help our kids and be there, be present.

  2. I just finished writing a paper on formative assessment for a graduate class and am really starting to see how important it is to let our students be in the midst of the their own learning process. It is too bad that we have "run away" from our students. Timeliness is crucial -- to kids, to me. You have made some excellent points!


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