Providing assessment, or feedback, is essential for learning. Teachers use a variety of assessment practices to determine a student’s level of understanding. In an early learning environment, teachers observe everything from how students interact and play with each other, to examining their body language when taught new concepts. This information gives the teacher further feedback on how to continue with the lesson. Assessment is an ongoing process, where children’s learning is documented over time over many different situations. Determining a child’s interests and strengths and building towards individual milestones is an important part of assessment.
Effective assessment also allows for students’ thinking to be made visible. Talking through the process of learning and sharing that information with others is essential.
Given the goal of learning with understanding, assessments must tap into understanding rather than merely the ability to repeat facts or perform isolated skills.
- Bransford, J., A. Brown & R. Cocking. 2000, How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School, Washington (DC), National Research Council, National Academy Press.
- Genishi, C. & A. Haas-Dyson. 2009, Children Language and Literacy: Diverse Learners in Diverse Times, New York, Teachers College Press.