Evaluation is an extremely important aspect of teaching. That’s why I’ve decided to dedicate next few posts to the theme. Let’s start with important values in evaluation according to Race, Brown and Smith (2005). Evaluation should be:
- Ethically fair and just. While learning experiences among pupils aren’t similar, in principle each pupil should have the same opportunities to excel. A teacher ought to make use of various evaluation methods so that no group in particular would be favored and that everyone could find a way to prove their skills.
For instance using oral exams, portfolios etc. not only written exams.
- Valid and reliable. In this case valid means that teachers evaluate only what they really wish to evaluate. If we are evaluating problem-solving skills we shouldn’t focus on clerical errors.
Relibiality means the ability to avoid chance. A pupil’s exam results can’t rest on how tired teacher was when checking the exams (easier said than done 🙂 ).
- Transparent. Pupils should be aware of evaluation methods and those methods must be in line with the curriculum. No guessing is needed when the criteria is clear, and that means less stress for the pupils as well.
- Motivate to learn more. Pupils shouldn’t be encouraged to memorize everything just exam purposes. Rather, to plan their learning ahead. Jointly with teacher, if possible.
- Demanding and enable excellence. Finding the balance where pupils are expected not too little and not too much is tricky. A teacher should generate a great empathy level and understanding about the character and skills of each pupil. In any case pupils are so individual that differentiated learning is a good goal (naturally depends on resources).