Wheaton Montessori News
Assessment is a topic often discussed in the many corners of the education world. Whether a child is enrolled in their local public school, an independent school, or is homeschooled, assessment will most likely play a role in that experience. To what extent it plays varies greatly, however, as does the prevalence of the different styles of assessment.
Parents often have strong feelings about assessment, although their perspectives can vary greatly. Many are frustrated by the now-common high-stakes testing, the amount of time testing can take, and the young age at which formal assessments are now taking place. Others, with their child’s future firmly in the forefront of their mind, want to be sure there are assessments in place that will clearly identify their child’s strengths and weaknesses.
So why do we assess in the first place?
One important reason is to measure learning. Another is to (theoretically) encourage success.
We pose the following questions: How do we define success? What exactly is it that we value and want to encourage in our children? What kinds of time restraints should (or should not) be placed on children as they progress through the learning of various skills? Should learning be measured in a standardized and linear fashion?
The following types of assessment are regularly used in educational settings. We describe each one and take a look at how Montessori does (or does not) implement them.
Formative assessment can be classified by the following characteristics:
Summative assessment is quite different. It can be classified by these characteristics:
Just by reading through the characteristics you will likely draw your own conclusions as to which style is more helpful to both students and teachers.
Keep in mind that in Montessori schools, we believe the following basic principles:
What it boils down to is that we hope to teach children how to learn, not how to get a good grade. We want them to be enamored with the world and find a deep and authentic desire to learn as much as they can about it. We do not wish to interrupt their learning with tests that do not actually serve them in the long run; rather we believe that the summative assessment approach of highly trained and skilled educators is the best way to support growth.
Join Mrs. Carrillo for Coffee and CommuniTEA as she leads a parent discussion group.
Please arrive promptly for the 8:15 a.m. meeting, so that Mrs. Carrillo can return to her classroom and your students when the discussion has concluded.