My name is Garima Bansal, a faculty member at University of Delhi, India where I teach a course on Assessment Education to teacher candidates enrolled in the Bachelors of Education (B.Ed) program. By reading DeLuca, Chavez, Bellara, & Cao’s paper featured in the journal The Teacher Educator in 2013 on pedagogies that inform assessment education, I was able to better understand the teaching and learning experiences in my own class. In particular, their four pedagogical activities – 1) Perspective-building conversations, 2) Praxis: connecting theory and practice, 3) Modelling: Practice what you preach, and 4) Critical reflection and planning for professional learning – reflected the teaching that occurred in my class. Drawing on these four pedagogical activities, in this article I articulate how I worked to develop assessment literacy of teacher candidates enrolled in the B.Ed program.
- Multiple perspective conversations: Teacher candidates were provided prompts, such as newspaper items and media reports which spoke about the side-effects of formal testing on various stakeholders (such as, “India’s examination system is only focussed on exam. Knowledge is not a priority” from the magazine Outlook India etc.) to reflect upon.
They shared their own experiences to build a diverse yet coherent vision about various school related evaluation issues. They spoke about how shifts in evaluation policy came as a surprise to them in the year 2009 when Continuous and Comprehensive evaluation replaced class X formal examination and others.
- Collaborative assessment projects: Collaborative projects between school teachers, University faculty, teacher candidates were initiated on different themes relating to student assessment. These projects enabled them to prepare differentiated assessment tasks for multiple ability learners studying in the same class, collecting samples of formative assessments tasks and critically analysing them for the nature of learning etc. Undertaking these projects and analysing them provided them with both a global as well as local perspective on different evaluation issues.
- Modelling: All the formative assessment components were embedded across different courses of the teacher professional development program –Bachelors of Education (B.Ed), which is a two year program. This program had a specific paper on teacher assessment education – Assessment for Learning, which was taught to teacher candidates in the second year. Though teacher candidates were taught specific tools and techniques to create and conduct formative assessments in this course yet they were continually given practice in taking formative assessments themselves through other courses of the program as well.
- Addressing Assessment Dilemma: During internship in schools, teacher candidates were made to explore various assessment dilemmas faced by in-service teachers– between formative and summative, stressing on competition or cooperation etc. and propose their possible solutions.
- Educational Evaluation Policy Analysis: Teacher candidates were made to reflect upon the shifts in educational evaluation policy across the world. They made projects in groups of four explicating the causes of shifts, strengths and weaknesses of the existing policies.
- Reflections: They were constantly encouraged to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses on their assessment plans made for school students. I simultaneously sought their feedback on my assessment pedagogy used in this program. (Rad Resource: TCrunch App to get instantaneous feedback and for managing assignments is freely downloadable from Apple and Google Play store.)
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