Current circumstances are challenging us to re-think testing in school.
We know that the existing model of testing favours cognitive competence. Your value as a learner increases along with the marks you get on standardised exams.
I read this fantastic quote the other day in the thought provoking - Head, Hand, Heart - by David Goodhart…
I know what it is for my life to go better or worse, but it doesn’t make sense to ask whether my life is better than yours. And that means there is no comparative measure, no single scale of human worth…Indeed, because each of us faces a distinct challenge, what matters in the end is not how we rank against others at all. We do not need to find something we are best at; what is important is simply that we do our best.
Kwame Anthony Appiah - The Lies that Bind (2018: 178)
Surely now is a moment to re-consider our model for evaluation in schools, and to establish ways to build positive learning identities for all.
Not only is this necessary in managing the widening attainment gap, but also it is essential if we are to face this period of extreme social change we are in.
Let’s create models of assessment that increasingly invites the individual, with the help of learning facilitators, to evaluate and reflect on their learning journeys as they seek to build a series of constructive and positive 'competences' that are going to benefit them throughout their lives.