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Education Coach Stresses Importance of Student Assessment

Education Coach Stresses Importance of Student Assessment

For educators, gathering information is a crucial part of their jobs, and assessment is one of the most important components in education. 

So says Naphtali Hoff in an article on Smartblogs.com. Hoff said there is, unfortunately, "a gap [sometimes quite sizable] between teaching and learning."

"We cannot simply port information from our mouths and minds into our students’ brains," Hoff said. "Instead, we are required to figure out how best to organize and deliver content in a way that allows for the most complete transference, with deep processing and strong retention. As we do this, we have to consider such factors as student readiness, interest and learning style."

Hoff said teachers "also need to think about certain variables that we cannot control, like our students’ lives at home and social relationships. These factors sit on top of the primary task of content delivery and our need to assess what they have or have not learned."

According to Hoff, "teachers ought to be assessing on a regular basis — what is commonly called formative assessment — in order to ensure that the students are grasping the content and are able to demonstrate their mastery in some fashion."

"Whether they use quick, simple checks for understanding, such as choral response or head nodding, or something a bit more elaborate [like having students complete a one minute paper or graphic organizer], teachers need to be collecting regular evidence of student learning before simply moving forward," he said. "And if the feedback demonstrates confusion, then a re-teaching [partial or full, to some or all students] is in order."

Hoff said he believes that "tests and other larger assessments should almost be perfunctory."

"Every teacher, in my opinion, should have a strong sense of how a child will perform on the test based on one or more weeks’ worth of collected evidence," he said. "If we enter the testing process without the ability to predict, on average, how each child will perform within the range of one grade (A to B, B to C), then I think that we’re really not in sufficient touch with each student."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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