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Running head: PHILOSOPHY OF ASSESSMENT

Philosophy of Assessment Statement

Morgan Regular

EDUC 5923 E

Bill Buggie

March 1, 2018
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As an educator, I have many responsibilities including deciding how I am going to assess

my students and their progress in my classroom. Throughout my Education degree, my

experience in the school system as both a student and as a teacher, as well as, the research that I

have conducted, I have come to understand the impact different assessment practices can have on

the success of students. If assessment is based solely on grades, tests, and assignments, this can

become a terrible source of anxiety for students and hinder their learning. Test scores,

percentages, and grades, although useful in certain contexts, should not be the sole resource of

assessment but rather, one small component of the overall umbrella of assessment. Given what I

have learned about student learning and strategies for success in school I have developed a solid

philosophy of assessment that I will be implementing into my classroom. This philosophy will

focus on the three primary forms of assessment; assessment for learning, assessment of learning,

assessment as learning. Through these forms of assessment, I will discuss the importance of one-

on-one interactions, forms of evaluation, and the controversial topic of homework in the

elementary classroom.

When thinking about how to implement assessment into my classroom, I focused on the

following four main areas that help guide students in their learning; determining the learning

destination, researching the expected quality levels, planning to collect reliable and valid

evidence of learning, and collecting baseline evidence of learning (Herbst & Davies, 2016., p.2).

In my classroom, I will use assessment for learning to collect information that will help to inform

me of the next steps I should take in my lesson planning. It will also give the students useful

information on the next steps that they should be taking in their learning (Davies, 2011., p.2).

This form of assessment is necessary for teachers to be able to design lessons based on the needs

of the students and make important decisions on whether to re-teach or continue with a new
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concept. I feel that you can never give your students too much descriptive feedback. In fact,

research shows that two of the four main generalizations of an effective classroom teacher are

that classroom assessment is formative in nature and formative classroom assessments are

conducted frequently (Marzano, 2006., p.3). I will gather the necessary information to provide

descriptive feedback through the use of observations, anecdotal notes, and one-on-one

conferencing. Giving descriptive feedback allows the learner the opportunity to make changes to

improve their learning and help them reach their goals (Davies, 2011., p.5). In my classroom, I

will put an emphasis on giving descriptive feedback through frequent one-on-one meetings with

my students to discuss their strengths and areas for improvement. I will also provide them with

new strategies and approaches to help them progress in their learning journey. Providing frequent

formative assessment opportunities has been correlated with academic achievement and it is my

responsibility as the educator to use every tool I have to help my students progress in their

learning and achievement (Marzano, 2006., p.9).

I believe evaluative assessment, or assessment of learning, should be a part of assessment

but, not the overall focus. Assessment of learning is important as it tells the learner how they

have performed based on the given standards, (Davies, 2011., p.3). I will implement this type of

assessment into my teaching at the end of a unit or outcome using projects, exit slips, and one-

on-one conferencing with students. This will help me attain the information necessary to

communicate with students and parents about their progress and where they stand in conjunction

with the curriculum. In addition, this will help me, the teacher, by giving me information about

the effectiveness of my teaching and whether or not I need to adjust my teaching strategies to

better suit the needs of my students.


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I have learned recently that the choice between using a rubric or a criterion can have a

substantial impact on student performance on a given task. Although both have their value in

different contexts, I have decided that using a criteria-based format for evaluation will be more

beneficial and will help support the learning and improvement of my students. I will form these

criteria collaboratively as, the research shows that by teachers working together, the descriptions

of learning destinations are informed through collective expertise and teachers build confidence

in the accuracy, clarity, and usefulness of their criteria (Herbst & Davies, 2016., p.5). By using

criteria and putting it into student friendly language, students will be able to see clearly where

they are striving and what areas they still need to work on. This format will also help the teacher

and parents acquire this information.

In addition to collaborating with fellow teachers, I will also work with the students to

help design criteria that best suits the needs of every student. I will always design criteria in such

a way that allows for choice and creativity as this gives students the opportunity to represent

what they know in a variety of ways. Given Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, it is clear

that students learn in a variety of different ways and we need to ensure that our classrooms are

designed to meet the needs of every single student (Gardner, 1999., p.27.). By allowing for

choice, I will be able to assess a variety of projects and assignments in a fairly and it will show

me what my students have learned (Davies, 2011, p.9). Allowing options for students makes the

learning process more enjoyable, which in turn, helps advance their learning as they are more

involved in the content and are able to give themselves feedback through self-assessment.

I will be incorporating assessment as learning to help my students grow as learners and as

individuals. I will constantly challenge my students as I want my class to understand that there is

no limit to their learning. I will reiterate to my students that learning is not about grades or being
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perfect. It is about taking risks and challenging yourself to do your personal best. I will use this

form of assessment and this type of language to ensure my students are intrinsically motivated.

By using less forms of evaluative assessment and putting less emphasis on grades, I will show

my students that learning is not about comparing yourself to others, it is about gaining

knowledge and broadening your intellectual abilities through challenges, new experiences, risk

taking, and putting your best foot forward to achieve your goals. In doing this, my students will

not simply be extrinsically motivated because they want a good grade or to be the “best” in the

class. Rather, this environment in the classroom will foster intrinsic motivation among students

as, they will have a thirst for knowledge and a desire to learn.

My experiences in the Education program at St. Thomas University, as well as personal

experience, the controversial debates surrounding homework was brought to my attention. After

doing my research and thoroughly examining the goal of assessment, I have come to the

conclusion that homework is not something I will incorporate into my classroom. Too often it

seems that homework is given as simply “extra work” for students. Research shows that

homework is only useful if it is beneficial to the learning of the students and enriches their

knowledge on a subject area, which it usually does not (Kohn, 2007). My students will be asked

to read to themselves every night for ten minutes but, other than that any work that they are

given will be completed in class. It is my belief that all the evidence of learning I need for

assessment should be completed in class through, observations, conversations, and work

samples. However, I will be more than willing to send extra resources home for parents to help

their children if requested and I will ensure that my students are given every resource and

opportunity available to them to help them reach their learning potential.


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Assessment plays a critical in the success of our students. As teachers, it is our

responsibility to design a plan for assessment that benefits every student and gives them the

opportunity to reach their full potential. Through my philosophy of assessment, I will be creating

a vast amount of opportunities for my students to show what they know. I will use observations

and one-on-one conferencing to provide students with constant feedback to help and encourage

their learning. My students will be able to show and develop their learning in a way that best

suits their needs and through these methods, they will develop essential skills for self-

assessment. Myself, the students, and the parents, will always be on the same page in regard to

the students’ achievement and, due to my approach to assessment, the students will be

intrinsically motivated to succeed.


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References

Davies, A. (2011). Making Classroom Assessment Work (Third Edition). Courtenay, BC:

Connections Publishing.

Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligence reframed: multiple intelligence for the 21st century. New York:

Basic Books.

Herbst, S and Davies, A. (2016). Grading, Reporting, and Professional Judgment in the

Elementary Classrooms. Courtenay, BC: Connections Publishing.

Kohn, A. (2007). Rethinking Homework. National Association of Elementary School Principals

(NAESP).

Marzano, R.J. (2006). Chapter 1: The Case for classroom assessment. Classroom assessment

and grading that work. Virginia, USA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum

Development (ASCD).