The school faced the dilemma of evaluating outcomes or development

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One of the most important reflections during UK House 2022, the world’s leading education and technology event, which took place in London from March 29 to 31, was the methods and the need for assessments . With so many changes in schools since the start of the pandemic, does it make sense to continue assessment as before? Some believe that traditional assessments do more harm than they actually improve learning.

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Eduardo Briceño, member of the Aspen Institute Global Leadership Network, spoke in a conference on the differences between the performance environment and the development environment. In the beginning, the important thing is to show what you know well, highlight your strengths and avoid showing mistakes. Getting there takes practice and lots of repetition. “Who, as a student, has never tried to hide what he didn’t know?

In the second type of environment, each person is always trying to challenge themselves to learn new things, and are therefore ready to make mistakes. “The goal here is to improve. In practice, that means trying to do things that you don’t know very well; the focus is on the unknown,” he explained.

With teachers and school administrators as the primary audience, Eduardo wondered if it was clear to students what the school represented as a developmental environment. Public educators said no and explained the reasons. Of course, the number of assessments requiring a correct answer came across as “bastard”, being one of the main reasons why students see school as a space to demonstrate good performance, rather than a space to exploring and learning.

In practice, using an online system that runs tests that show results immediately, the speaker gave an example of how teachers can assess what students think and understand about a topic, without needing to formal exams. The idea is to use the students’ answers to be able to follow the class on a specific course, not to give marks.

Responses to online forms are designed in a variety of formats: statistics, word clouds or lists, but generally without specifying who provided each response. The classroom experience becomes interactive and stress-free to prove you know the right answer.

However, Eduardo warns that abandoning formal assessments is not enough to change the mindset of students. Educators must create an environment that is error-prone, demonstrate the practical importance of what is seen in the classroom, and set an example of continuous learning. “We have to put ourselves in a development zone – and show the students how we’re trying to improve,” he said. Check out some of the highlights in the video below.

continuous learning
It is possible to carry out constant micro-assessments in the classroom, as Eduardo Briceno suggested during Bett UK, even in the absence of equipment and the internet. Arthur Galampa, a Brazilian who works in teacher training at King’s College, received a delegation of Brazilian teachers and said it was very common for English teachers to distribute small whiteboards to students. Thus, they can ask questions and read the answers several times during the course, to see how far the class has followed a subject, and where the doubts lie.

“I have found that using whiteboards to assess children’s learning is educationally transformative. It’s easy, cheap and fits into any type of room layout and really changes the way you interact,” said Arthur, who had about a decade of teaching experience in Brazil. before moving to the UK. .


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As much as schools and educators would like to rethink forms of assessment, to promote improvement rather than demonstrate good performance, is the community ready for schools to stop giving grades or constructs to students? The school is not alone in the world and must meet the expectations of everyone, from the students themselves to the government.

In this context, families play a major role. “One of the things that keeps us from changing the way we assess students in schools is parents. Families want to know where their children are and their grades. They feel that without these grades they won’t be able to keep up with their children’s education,” said Amy Barr, Head of Assessment at Ark School in the UK. “But there is a lot of other rich information that we can give to parents, much better than the diploma or the concept. We need to talk to parents to change our way of life.

However, the change in concept should also include other areas, such as employers, so that when making a selection they do not repeat standardized assessments or cover their ‘good grades’ curriculum. “It is important to involve employers in this discussion. I am also a teacher and a business owner. In my team, people learn together every day, but they don’t take exams and don’t remember things that were said months ago. They work collaboratively and must choose and apply useful information. These are the skills I need as an employer,” concluded Matt Wingfield, CEO of the Association for Electronic Evaluation, UK.


* The journalist traveled to London at the invitation of Brazil house.


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