I’m going to be thinking about assessment and the various ways we have at looking at pupil progress and what we can do to assess pupils.
I have to start of by saying that there is a need for summative assessment, without a grading system for GCSEs, A-Levels, Degree etc. we would end up with some very strange methods of differentiating the thousands of people who want to enter the job market. However I feel that we can use this summative assessment formatively.
By taking the information gained from this summative assessment we can let it feedback into the way that we teach, to essentially encourage development.
Formative assessment has been shown undeniably to be a much more successful way of giving feedback for work, By giving comments rather than a grade meant that pupils stop trying to compete with each other, and genuinely focus on the information they are given to work on to become effective learners.
The only difficulty with this is the amount of extra work that has to be done by the teacher, giving an individualised personalised comment based on the work is taxing, and isn’t going to be easy, BUT if it means that because of that little extra work your pupils gain so much more out of their education, I think that is a sacrifice that I would be willing to make.
APP is certainly interesting, and I have to say I whole heartedly agree with this method of assessment. Children do not need stress in their life that comes from summative examination, and by assessing pupils progress throughout a whole year it gives pupils (unitentionally) the ability to show off their best pieces of work, and be assessed on what suits their learning style.
We also spent alot of time on practical work and demonstrations, and Health and Safety is a huge part of that.
Thank god that CLEAPSS was invented, their information for experiments and hazards are superb and one of the greatest things I have ever come across so far. I now have it linked as a favourite in my internet browser. through having good health and safety we can make sure that our exciting and dynamic experiments are suitable for the classroom… lest we burn down an entire lab (something I did when I was at school).
Practical science is by far the most engaging thing about science and it underpins everything we do as scientists. We need to spark the scientists of the future, and the only way to give them that spark is by letting children loose in the laboratory, (within reason). Although computation is getting so much better than it used to be (and in cases we can show experiments that would never have the chance to be shown in school), it is never going to be as good as the children holding test tubes in their own hand, and working through an experiment for themselves.
I can’t wait to get into the schools and start doing my own practicals, and seeing pupuls work on their own experimentation, Practical science is the best way of learning things from first principles. Pupils need to work through the science to be able to understand most of it, and to give them the essential skills of how science works.
lecture wise it’s been so much fun this week… and I got to play godzilla, and get out of the classroom to be the ice-age! =D