Introduction

 My learning experiences from childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood have shaped my approach to teaching today.  These learning experiences have shown me great examples of what to do, and of what not to do when considering how to conduct assessment of student performance and achievement in my own classroom.  As a result of a powerful learning experience I had in the third grade, I have decided to make all of my expectations for my students very clear.  I plan to distribute analytic rubrics along with every assignment.  Due to an influential learning experience I had in the eighth grade, I have decided to allow students to participate in class strictly on a volunteer basis.      Lastly, because of a learning experience I recently had as a young adult, I have decided to encourage my students to self-assess their academic performance and achievement.  Many personal learning experiences have shaped the way I plan to conduct assessment in my prospective classroom.

 

Childhood

In the third grade, I received a “B” on a project that I worked very hard on.  The assignment was to convey any message that makes the world a better place, in an artistic manner.  The guidelines were vague and my teacher’s expectations were not made clear, but I did my best.  I created a poster titled “Save the Rainforests.”  I decorated it ever so carefully with my brand new Crayola markers, and submitted it to my teacher with breathless anticipation.

I was quite upset when I learned that I only received a “B” on my project, especially since all my friends received “As”.  I approached my teacher after school and asked her why I received a “B” on my project.  She shrugged her shoulders, and with a nonchalant look on her face said, “It was good, but it just wasn’t as good as some of the others.”  I walked away annoyed and confused.  As far as I was concerned, I did everything I was supposed to do.  I couldn’t help that there were better artists in my class!

Few educators receive any formal training in assigning grades to students’ work or in grading students’ performance and achievement. As a result, when required to do so, most simply reflect on their own experiences, and then, based on those experiences, try to develop policies and practices that they believe are fair, equitable, defensible, and educationally sound. Their personal experiences as students, therefore, may have significant influence on the policies and practices they choose to employ.    … Read More