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Philosophy of Assessment

Throughout my education courses at Seton Hill University and my time spent

in different classrooms, I have discovered the purpose and importance of

assessment. The purpose of assessment is to provide reliable information about

student learning to the student themselves, the parents/guardians, and the teacher.

Assessments are very important to use in the classroom, as they are tools used by

teachers to determine if the students have mastered the necessary information in

order to move forward through their education career and into the real world.

The role of teachers and students in assessment are different, however, they

rely on one another to obtain ultimate success. By applying assessments, teachers

can determine if the content that was previously taught needs to be addressed again

and self reflect on their teaching strategies. Another way teachers use assessments

is to differentiate the instruction by separating the students by ability into guided

reading groups or math groups. Assessments are also useful during parent teacher

conferences to inform the parents/guardians on their child’s academic achievement

in the classroom. The students, on the other hand, play an important role in

assessments. They have the opportunity to show and suggest different ways to be

assessed according to their preferred learning style. Assessments also provide

useful feedback to the students so they can learn significant lessons and improve

upon on their weaknesses within that topic.

The four types of effective assessment tools that I have learned about in my

courses and have seen within my observations are formative assessments,

summative assessments, diagnostic assessments, and benchmark assessments.


Formative assessments are assessments that involve both the teacher and the

students and they are ongoing during instruction. While formative assessments are

either informal (not announced) or formal (announced), they determine what

information the students understand. Some examples of formative assessments are

analyzing student work, completing exit tickets, and completing think-pair-share

worksheets. Summative assessments are assessments that are given at the end of a

lesson or unit to assess the content as a whole. Some examples of summative

assessments are chapter tests, unit tests, and project based learning projects.

Diagnostic assessments are assessments that are company made, given

periodically, and measure the students understanding of certain subject areas. They

also identify students that need an IEP or need to be placed in a special education

classroom. A few examples of diagnostic assessments are placement tests and

fluency tests, like DIBELS. Benchmark assessments are assessments that are either

teacher or company made, and measure how students are meeting academic

standards and goals. PSSA’s and 4Sight tests are a few examples of benchmark

assessments. When I have a classroom of my own, I plan to utilize all of the types of

assessments listed above. The use of the assessment tools will vary depending on

the content being taught at the moment and the ability of my students.

In conclusion, the value of assessments is not comparable to anything else

completed in the classroom by both the teacher and the students. Assessments are

applied within the classroom during specific content areas to gather information

about the progress of the students. With the help of assessments, a teacher can
adjust their teaching styles and differentiate the instruction to aid in the learning

process of all of the students.