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					– Knowledge Bank TPL Case Study 2008 –
Contact details
Sarah Gloger
Caulfield Primary School
724 Glenhuntly Road, Caulfield South VIC 3162
ph: 95237932 fax: 95237502
email: caulfield.ps@edumail.vic.gov.au

Title
Investigation of ASSESSMENT PRACTICES by the classroom teacher, to
ensure curriculum and assessment practices go hand in hand
Abstract

The focus of this case study is how to link an effective school curriculum
structure with rigorous systems of accountability, by which school and student
performance can be evaluated.
Key words
Assessment practices, systems of accountability, support teachers in report
writing




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Investigation of ASSESSMENT PRACTICES by the classroom teacher, to
ensure curriculum and assessment practices go hand in hand

The purpose of this study became clear after I was appointed as Curriculum Coordinator of
the school. My first task was to train staff towards a development of a whole school
curriculum or scope and sequence. I went to a Professional Learning “Curriculum and
Assessment Modules” session that trains teachers in educating staff through curriculum and
assessment modules on how to do this. A scope and sequence was accomplished, but easy
to use assessment practices were found to be just as vital to support our curriculum and the
ability to report effectively to our parents. Staff would then need to become knowledgeable
in the various types of assessment („of‟,‟ for‟ and „as‟) through the modules and then be
able to use documents to support everyday assessment practices. A team was given the task
of training staff once a week on the assessment modules and I started developing checklists
teachers can use to check they have reported on and taught the expected standards for their
level.

After a whole school curriculum or scope and sequence, a clear and effective method to
assess student performance to use as supporting evidence for reporting to parents has
become just as important. Teacher understanding of various forms of assessment and
development of whole school assessment practices had become a necessary inclusion to the
professional practices at the school.

A few years ago our school became part of an Innovations and Excellence cluster of
schools and I was the project manager or representative chosen. I was introduced to
Principles of Learning and Teaching and the development of action plans to focus teacher
professional development. Each year the teachers have self assessed their practice.
Assessment practices appeared on our action plans more than once, so the cluster focused
on this area as well. Lane Clarke‟s Sessions on Criteria and Assessment were extremely
helpful and gave us all a clearer understanding of how to assess.

In my school, clear assessment documentation to use as evidence and accountability is an
ongoing issue. Data from Principles of Learning and Teaching self assessment surveys
showed that most of the staff required guidance in the knowledge and practice of various
forms of assessment; as well as an effective method to record their results. It had also
become difficult for new staff to determine the whole school assessment practices without a
whole school assessment document to refer to.

The time I was given for this case study gave many opportunities to go to schools and
investigate their assessment practices. I also took the opportunity to set up online
assessments. Documents that were produced included:
     Whole School Assessment plan draft
     Standards checklists to use per term
     Semester progression points plan/checklists
     Standards checklists to use in class
     Assessment schedule for portfolios


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Whole school programs to support assessment plan
   VCAA AIM Online Mathematics/ Literacy tests
   Scaffolding Numeracy in the Middle Years

Teachers of Level 3 and 4 students started using checklists in each unit they taught to
indicate the achievement of standards they used for each student in their class. Specialist
teachers in cooperation with these teachers used a standards checklist (listing all standards
covered in level 3 and 4) to indicate which standards were being covered. This made it
easy to check that together they were covering all the expected standards. These same class
teachers have used VCAA Online tests to provide data for Mathematics as well as a
problem solving assessment, Scaffolding Numeracy in the Middle Years.

The whole staff has been trained in the various forms of assessment and a whole school
assessment plan is being developed as a conclusion to the modules. Part of this is still
under evaluation as this is the first year this has been put in place, but the PoLT survey
results will be one of the methods used to measure the impact. The teachers of Level 3 and
4 provided Excel spreadsheets indicating growth data on Numeracy comparing start of year
results to end of year results.

The Level 3 and 4 teachers found the unit checklists very helpful when assessing students
during and at the end of a unit. Being checklists, they were easy to use while moving
around the class as well. The whole school standards checklists had classroom and
specialist teachers happy to know what had been covered. Having a team of teachers train
all staff on the various types of assessment made it much easier to expect staff to develop a
whole school assessment plan.


Future plans
Based on the encouraging data I expect from the PoLT surveys and the positive feedback
already received from the Level 3 and 4 teachers, I intend creating the documents already
developed for teachers of all levels. Auditing and investigating the current assessment “of”
programs used for Mathematics and Literacy will also be ongoing.


Helpful contacts
Teachers of other schools who have been very helpful:
Alan Gallagher gallagher.alan.g@edumail.vic.gov.au and Michael Funke
funke.michael.j@edumail.vic.gov.au (Malvern Central School)
Leanne R Vines, Dingley Primary School




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