Ok, so it looks like we’re on our way!
In this step, we ourselves are on the journey of inquiry the educational leaders introduced in the first step of this pathway. So, where do we find ourselves? In questions of the difficulty, its presence and its absence, in assessment in education.
A good two decades ago now, the Dean of Education at the University of British Columbia described educational assessment as a “conspiracy of convenience.” Listening here to three school principals and three teachers in rural school districts in British Columbia, it’s difficult to disagree that such might still too-often be the case. But, what exactly is easy in ‘traditional’ assessment, and where precisely is the difficulty, and thus the challenge, of assessment as we move together in a journey of inquiry? Here we begin to explore such questions:
Some questions to consider (we recommend brief small group discussions that can each then ‘compare notes’ about the different directions opened in how such ‘complicated’ conversations can go):
How do you respond to this video?
What does it bring to mind for you?
How important is it to you that education avoid not having to ‘think’? What is at stake in this question? Where, why and with whom might it be important to engage it?
What is seen to escape ‘traditional’ assessment in the conversation this video convenes? What is problematic about it?
What do we begin to hear about as alternatives to ‘traditional’ assessment?
What is the image of the student for educators who search for new forms of assessment?
What, then, is the student to ‘traditional’ forms of assessment?