Assessments Introduction read more

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In reality, however, assessments stands far removed from these two positions. Instead of assessments being used to inform teaching learning processes, the entire learning system has been designed for assessments. This of course can be traced back to the colonial objectives in establishment of a homogeneous curriculum as well as in centralizing the educational process. The process of learning became less important in a decontextualized curriculum and the mastery of certain, limited skills and a core set of competencies was all that was sought to be tested. There is obviously a very urgent need to reform this and any discourse on curricular reform has to include assessment reform. While the larger issue of the contextual curriculum and diversity of skills is yet to be resolved, a restructuring of the assessment process has been suggested in the form of Continuous comprehensive evaluation (CCE)

CCE is to help teachers help in formative assessment of children. The idea is that we can use assessments periodically to make corrections to ourselves as teachers so that we enable better learning processes. The focus is on reviewing students' work through the year and also to design processes that will allow us to observe different aspects of learning.

The emphasis is on evaluating skills of learning, skills needed for the subject, conceptual understanding and problem solving. For example, some of these skills for science could be observa tion, recording (field work, lab work) analysis (not only numerical), ability to question and link concepts, build understanding (can be seen in a research based project), ability to present, write and draw - not the language competence but the presentation of an idea (projects, assignments, shorter unit tests), interest and willingness to go through the discipline of learning (submission of work, timely submission, level of detail) and content (some students might find some areas difficult). Regular feedback through shorter tests could be one way of assessing difficulties in content areas and looking for appropriate resources. For example the CCE set of evaluation materials could include projects, research based independent study, setting up ad recording formal experiments besides homework assignments and exams. Students' engagement in a class as well as participation can also be recorded. It goes without saying that the learning process must allow for a CCE to be adopted.