Ngā Matapakinga | Discussion

    Tessa Gray
    What should we be assessing in education?
    11 September
    Public discussion Created by Tessa Gray

    Thought I'd share this great video spotlighted by both Leigh Hynes and Jan-Marie Kellow - an interview with OECD’s Director for Education and Skills Andreas Schleicher published by Global Education & Skills Forum

    In this interview, Andreas talks about some of the overall findings from the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) and where the challenges and issues lie. For example, with the introduction and influence of technologies in education, we are in a dichotomy; 19th C institutional structure, 20th C pedagogies and 21st C technologies, where old things being done in new ways (copying information from the Internet) has resulted in learning experiences becoming even more shallow.

    Andreas goes on to say technology is working well in some countries - in pockets, but in some cases technology has made learning more shallow rather deep. He invites us to look at the important aspects of learning not the urgent, looking at developing shared understandings around key concepts/skills/processes like creativity, problem solving, resilience, collaboration. A focus on these key 21st Century skills are responsive to ongoing social and economic changes in the world - not just skills for the job market, but transferable skills.

    Andreas also touched on sharing successes from high-performing education systems that spend more time on design and experimenting in education; where they do 'fewer things' in greater depth and focus on subjects that will foster the passions and talents of their learners.

    He also implores,

    If you don’t include teachers in the design of these policies and practices, they are not going to help you implement these changes.

    What do future-focused organisations need to focus on as important, rather than urgent in education?

    How can we take some of the learnings from PISA and improve our own systems and practices?

    Or are some things too entrenched to change?

    Also see other perspectives on this same interview

    ** PISA is best known for globally publishing educational results from contributing OECD countries (including NZ)Find more about the OECD countries involved in the PISA assessment programme.

    I'd love to hear more Darren, what does this look like at your school? What are the non-negotiables and where do we have more wriggle room do you think, as self-governing schools?

    I'm also mindful of parent/community/tertiary expectations for using test results beyond school....

    Tess

    - By edSpace
      • edSpace
        By edSpace
        Sep 12

        I'd love to hear more Darren, what does this look like at your school? What are the non-negotiables and where do we have more wriggle room do you think, as self-governing schools?

        I'm also mindful of parent/community/tertiary expectations for using test results beyond school....

        Tess

        • Darren Sudlow
          By Darren Sudlow
          Sep 11

          Yes I don't see how a standardised test is a valid way to evaluate an educational system or to drive change. It can in fact, drive change the wrong way. 

          • Tessa Gray
            By Tessa Gray
            Sep 11

            Thanks for this response Justin, I know you're been passionate about this for your learners. I've also touched on another perspective from Andreas Schleicher in your VLN thread on, Do we need to question the way we assess? 

            I'd love to see more of how your graduate profile/assessment/evaluation of learning programme fits in your school, if you were ok to share? You're right other teachers are wanting to make these valuable choices about assessment (valid, manageable, relevant) that better meets the needs of the students and align with 21st C pedagogies.

            You're also right about the disconnect, Andreas also touched on that when he said, we want our children to have collaborative problem solving opportunities to share experiences to find joint solutions - but in reality we continue to administer individualized tests.

            I've also commented,

            There is a slight irony here if we're talking about alternative ways to assess and evaluate quality learning, when we're using our standardised data to compare our data with other countries, but I found it interesting in the end, when he said how some countries are using PISA results/themes to make shifts in the desired direction - ie: for some it means fewer hours of instruction, more focus on less areas etc.

            So my wondering here Justin is, If some countries using PISA evaluations to drive changes in education is this is something we can do collectively too, so teachers don’t feel like they're powerless to make a difference if the system isn't changing? Even though NZ schools are highly autonomous, is there any data we can glean from our PISA results collectively that can help us make assessment decisions around our CORE NZ values for education, or maybe each organisation is too different for us to do this? To do this, we might need some create common language and understandings around what skills/concepts/processes look like. We might also ask,

            Where do our future needs lie as a country? Is there a way to honor multiple perspectives - ie: bi-cultural partnerships and inclusive education for all?

            • Justin Hickey
              By Justin Hickey
              Sep 11

              I think it is absolutely imperative that we question the way we assess. We are very much a process orientated learning environment where much of what we do is more than just outcome based. We have created a Graduate Profile which focuses on the individual characteristics of the child rather than their learning outcomes. Our students learning is very much student driven and the traditional methods of assessment don't fit with what our students are learning. From conversations with other educators, I sense that many are frustrated with trying to change their practice to one that aligns more with current pedagogies while at the same time trying to create learning experiences for their students that they can assess using traditional assessment models. 

              In my opinion, this is one of the bigger issues that needs to be addressed in education. For many, there is a massive disconnect with the way we want to teach and the assessment tools we have to capture student learning.

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