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Making the Difference

Differentiation in International Schools William & Ochan Powell

 Another traditional purpose was to dole out punishments and rewards.Assessment of Learning  The traditional purpose of assessment in schools was to sort and rank students. criterion referenced assessment began to be used in some educational systems:  Students achievement is compared against predetermined achievement criteria. (Honor Roll. rather than against other students (norm-referenced) . detentions)  30 years ago.

and 2. To analyze student progress and to determine the status of learning.Assessment for Learning  Our aim as teachers is to maximize the learning of all students. .  Two purposes for assessment in the differentiated classroom: 1. To serve as an essential component of the learning process in order to promote and enhance further learning.

Ten principles of Assessment for Learning  Principal #1: AFL is part of effective instructional planning  Principal #2: AFL focuses on how students learn (not just „what‟ they learn)  Principal #3: AFL is central to classroom practice  Principal #4: AFL is a key professional skill  Principal #5: AFL is sensitive and constructive  Principal #6: AFL fosters motivation .

 The use of constructive feedback is one of the most important and powerful life skills that we can help students to develop. equally importantly. and.Ten principles of Assessment for Learning  Principal #7: AFL promotes understanding of goals and criteria  Students need to understand and articulate what they are trying to achieve.  Student commitment to learning goals is enhanced when learners are provided with specific examples of how criteria can be met and when learners are engaged in peer and selfassessment. Learners must be provided with opportunities to improve their work. .  Principal #8: AFL helps learners know how to improve  The primary purpose of assessment is to support the learner in improving his or her performance. they need to want to achieve it.

 Principal #10: AFL recognizes all educational achievement  Many students who are failing courses are doing so because they have learned from their teachers that they are no good at a subject. to be included if time permits. The only significant enduring purpose behind assessment is to help students to internalize healthy. they are teacher disabled. .  The view of „assessment for learning‟ is RADICALLY different. Selfassessment supports the learner in becoming reflective and selfmanaging.Ten principles of Assessment for Learning  Principal #9: AFL develops the capacity for selfassessment  Some teachers equate self-assessment with putting the foxes in charge of the henhouse.  Other teachers treat self-assessment as a nice. These students are not learning disabled. but optional add-on. accurate and reasonably challenging self-assessment. Reflective and selfmanaging students acquire vital skills and habits of mind that are needed for the rest of their lives.

Jan Chappuis (2005) writes that students need to be able to answer three basic questions about their learning:  Where am I going? (what specifically is the learning target?)  Where am I now? (what can and can‟t I do?)  How can I close the gap? ..  In an outstanding article entitled “Helping Students to Understand Assessment”.Three questions for students.

Kuala Lumpur: self-published. Providing students with an anonymous poor quality piece of work is a very useful activity. Chappuis and Chappuis. Insist that students revise their work. Strategy Seven: Engage students in self-reflection and let them document and share their learning. Providing students with regular descriptive feedback enhances their learning. Strategy Four: Teach students to self-assess and set goals. Arter. Focusing on one aspect of quality at a time fosters learning. Descriptive feedback gives them insight about current strengths (success) and how to do better next time (corrective action). Ask students to evaluate the work samples and to discuss the criteria they used. This strategy breaks learning into manageable pieces for students. We would. Making the Difference: Differentiation in International Schools. help them to regularly collect evidence of their own progress. Such evaluative feedback often signals to students that the learning associated with a piece of work is finished. Strategy Three: Offer regular descriptive feedback. Strategy Five: Design lessons that focus on one aspect of quality at a time. Strategy Two: Use anonymous examples of strong and weak student work. Strategy Six: Teach students focused revision. 2004 Willam Powell and Ochan Kusuma-Powell. however. Adapted from the work of: Stiggins. Teach them how to use feedback in the revision process. We also know that quality in feedback is vastly more important than quantity. Such an activity will assist students in understanding what high quality work looks like and will support them in self-assessment. which consists of marks or letter grades. Provide learning coherence by keeping students focused on the large learning objectives and connected to a vision of quality as the learning takes place. Focus on a single aspect of quality. Have them use the language of the rubric or scoring guide. 2007 . Use a variety of strategies to have students communicate their own understanding of what they have learned and develop goals to close the gap between where they are now relative to the desired learning outcome and where they need to be in order to meet learning standards. make a distinction between evaluative feedback. Insist that students engage in activities that teach the skills of self-assessment. Many of us have received a piece of work back from a teacher with so much red ink on it that it was overwhelming. Don‟t allow them to bite off more than they can chew. Use daily strategies in the classroom that require students to articulate specifically what they are learning and the progress they are making. continually defining and redefining for students the learning expectations.Seven strategies for engaging students in the learning process Seven Strategies for Engaging Students in the Learning Process: Strategy One: Provide a clear and understandable vision of the learning outcome.

MS Principal  “Assessment is a process that we complete in partnership WITH the student. during staff training prior to the school year 09-10 . not some complicated thing that we do TO the student” Mr Cooper. MS Principal.

Making the Difference: Differentiation in International Schools  Willam Powell and Ochan Kusuma-Powell  Published: 2007 .