October 09, 2010

APP– Framework for assessment


APP strikes me as being a way of "grouping" students in a positive manner. To give a framework where teachers can easily follow pupil’s progress and therefore tailor the learning experience to maximise the pupil’s progress.

There is an emphasis on collecting evidence within the framework. The examples that are given within “Getting to grips with APP” include, interestingly enough, collecting notes on what pupils say in class. This has its uses, but I think if something relevant comes up in discussion, reaction on it should be immediate, not waiting for it to be reviewed.

The use also in being able to identify similarities within the progress of a class or even a year can also help to identify gaps in the SOW. This, for me, is a very useful, and powerful form of self-assessment for the teacher. There is also advantage in how much more formative the assessment is, removing the excess and focusing on development.

But as with all good ideas there appear to be problems. Lack of support for teachers who aren’t used to it. Implementing it on top of current methods, causing confusion. Using it as a form of whole school monitoring, which it is not designed for.

New documents released by the government have given clarity to this, but there is a need for more effort to explain what it is for, and how it should be used. It is a good idea, but all good ideas need good excecution. Without that it will flop as many have before.

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