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Philosophy of Assessment

Assessments and evaluations are a critical component of the modern classroom. When

assessments are well-designed and constructed with a purpose, teachers can determine, using

data, if the students are achieving learning targets. It is important for teachers to understand that

assessment drives instruction in the classroom. Through observation, planning, and feedback, the

teacher can ensure that the student’s learning is elevated and that assessments are created with a

purpose.

Observation is a critical component of assessment in education. Although observation of

students is important at every age, it is especially important in the early grades. The elementary

grades are a period of rapid growth and development. There are dramatic changes in the child’s

physical, social, and emotional development. I believe performance assessments are critically

important at this stage because learning can be observed as the student’s complete specific tasks.

This does not mean that I believe pencil and paper quizzes or tests should be excluded, rather a

variety of assessments are necessary to illustrate academic growth.

Planning is another important component of assessment in education. The goals of

assessment are to support student learning and answer the question, “What have the students

learned and how well have they learned it?” To answer this question, I believe that teachers must

have a thorough plan and ensure that the assessment is meaningful. I believe that a well-thought-

out assessment combines high-level and low level convergent and divergent questions in addition

to different question formats such as multiple choice, completion, fill-in-the-blank, and essay.

Planning different types of assessments will ensure that all students have the opportunity to

illustrate academic growth and that learning targets are being achieved. Planning multiple
opportunities for students to demonstrate their knowledge will greatly assist the learning process

and help the teacher understand how the students are learning.

Feedback is a critical component to assessment in education. Especially in the modern

classroom, students rely on effective and frequent feedback to gauge their progress and success. I

believe that providing feedback throughout a unit is essential for students. Feedback is a

formative assessment which allows the teacher to understand if previous learning was not clear

and if remediation or enrichment should be provided to the student.

In addition to observation, planning, and feedback, using both formative and summative

assessments will ensure that student understands the material and is making progress. When

well-planned and executed, formative assessments such as think, pair, share activities and exit

tickets are quick formative assessments that don’t feel like traditional assessments for students

however, they can reveal much information about the students learning to the teacher. I believe

summative assessments such as a project should have options for the students to demonstrate that

they have mastered the material in a way that makes sense to them. This can be accomplished by

providing choices such as a presentation, demonstration, or a project.

In my opinion, grades are very important to students and serve as motivation for learning.

I believe that letter grades do have an important role in the classroom; however, there must be

emphasis placed on improvement. It is important to explain to the students that growth, rather

than achieving a specific letter grade is the desired outcome.

There is no doubt that assessment is an integral part of the classroom environment. My

philosophy of assessment is that for assessments to be effective and meaningful, they must be

well planned, with a specific purpose, and allow the student to demonstrate their knowledge in

various ways. Creating assessments in this manner will permit students to demonstrate their
knowledge in a way that is meaningful for them and teachers will be able to provide

individualized feedback on their progress.