“If you can both listen to children and accept their answers not as things to just be judged right or wrong but as pieces of information which may reveal what the child is thinking, you will have taken a giant step toward becoming a master teacher, rather than merely a disseminator of information.” -Easley & Zwoyer, 1975
This is the heart of what embedded formative assessment is, and what we feel is a key component of ongoing teacher professional development. But there are different types of assessments. State assessments provide a useful snapshot of student performance, particularly for parents. This snapshot is not sufficient, however. Parents, teachers and district administrators want different kinds of assessments throughout the school year to balance assessments at the end of the school year. They want both assessments for learning and assessments of learning.
– Assessments for learning are formative assessments used to track progress over time, diagnose student needs and inform everyday teaching and learning.
– Assessments of learning are summative assessments, such as high-stakes state assessments and end-of-course or subject exams, which measure performance at the end of an instructional sequence or timeframe.
So what do parents and educators want from assessments? We’ll be blogging quite a bit on this topic over the coming months, pulling some findings we learned from a research study done with Grunwald Associates, but this infographic does a great job of summarizing visually what they’re looking for in educational assessments – both formative and summative.