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Assessment for Learning: the Roles of Teachers sample essay

1.1: Compare and contrast the roles of the teacher and the learning support practitioner in assessment of learner’s achievements. The roles of Teachers and learning support practitioners are similar in that they are both continuingly monitoring the progress and achievements of the learner. Teachers need to be aware of every child’s progress within their setting. Gathering evidence and developing a full picture of each child is important, in order to understand their individual needs and supply accurate feedback to other teachers, support staff, parents and the senior leadership team. Teachers are required to plan lessons and set learning objectives for their classes. This is usually discussed with support staff, so they are able to help implement the lesson and effectively support the children’s learning. Support assistants can also be involved with the planning process, as their feedback should influence what is included in the lesson, and how future lessons needs to move forward. Both Teachers and Support Assistants should be observing children throughout the lesson. Support staffs are in a unique position, as they are able to observe the class whilst the Teacher leads the session.

Through observations, teachers and support staff can identify children who are in need of additional support; it also gives a clear picture of class attainment as a whole. By doing this, targets can be set for individual children and different ability groups, helping them progress with their learning. The overall achievement of a class is a collaborative effort between the teacher and the learning support practitioners. The responsibility of assessment falls to anyone working with the child, and is an on-going process that should never stop happening in the learning environment. 1.2: Summarise the difference between formative and summative assessments. Teachers and Support staff use many different methods when assessing learners. These may include: observations, written records, verbal discussions, checklists and tick charts. Assessments can either be formative or summative. Formative assessments – On-going series of processes that are not conclusive.

They are used to gather evidence, and help build a more complete picture of the child, for example: A child’s behaviour may be monitored over a period of time, in order to assess how best to cater for their needs. This will influence future planning and support interventions, as well as help to give a more complete picture of their behavioural patterns. Summative assessments – Used to draw conclusions and bring evidence together. They will consolidate all observations and previous assessments to come to an overall conclusion. Planning can then be set for the next steps, for example: A child who has had his behaviour observed over a period of time, in various different settings, may have an IEP put in place in light of the evidence gathered. Formative assessments are needed in order to make a summative assessment, as they are what contribute to the findings and overall conclusions. 1.3: Explain the characteristics of assessment for learning.

Assessment for learning is a key tool for both Teachers and Support staff. It ensures that the learning goals for each lesson are clearly identified and are understood by the learner. This can be achieved by using the WALT and WILF principle: WALT, meaning; We Are Learning Today and WILF, meaning; What I’m Looking For. These objectives should be established at the beginning of each lesson, in order for the learner to understand the lesson criteria and expectations. Assessment for learning also aims for each child to have knowledge of the level they are working at, and what their targets are. This promotes independent learning, as the child understands what they are aiming to achieve and the goals they need to reach. Self-assessment and peer assessment is a key characteristic in assessment for learning. It aims to make children autonomous learners, and be able to recognise how to improve their work. Peer assessment allows children to give constructive advice to their peers, in order for them to progress their skills and learn from one another.

Giving feedback to learners, so that they know which steps they need to take next, is crucial. Constructive feedback, along with effective planning, will focus the learners’ attention to the areas they need to improve on. It’s important that each learner believes they have the power to improve, and are confident enough in their ability to do so. 1.4: Explain the importance and benefits of assessment for learning. Assessment for learning is an important teaching tool as it clarifies whether or not the learning objectives, delivered through teaching, are being met. It can determine the educational needs of the children and affect decisions on: extra provisions or interventions, funding and a child’s marks. It helps develop a different culture towards learning and actively involves the child in that process.

This is achieved through: helping the child understand the purpose of their learning, giving them the ability to recognise their own strengths and areas they need to improve on, motivating them to aspire to achieve through goals and targets, and giving them an opportunity to discuss with teachers and their peers about their learning. This is hugely beneficial as it encourages children to take ownership over their own learning. It also helps teaching staff identify the needs of the children and determine what approach to take next.

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