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24. "Performances" of Understanding are essential for good assessment.

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24. "Performances" of Understanding are essential for good assessment.

How can we make learning and understanding visible? How can we assess learning and understanding if it is not made visible? As teachers, we must realize that while we cannot watch the learning networks fire up in the brain in realtime (unless we have the apparatus for it in our classrooms!), we can do the next best thing. We can get our students to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts. This is called a Performance of Understanding (PoU). A PoU is not a simplistic test, it is an opportunity given to students to synthesize their learning and take it to the next level in the form of a realtime performance. An example of an effective PoU is the ability to conduct an interactive presentation on the subject covered. A PoU is not only more fair than the average paper-based test, it also allows students to follow their passions, keeps them more motivated, and inspires further learning.

Q.What would be a good PoU for a unit of study that you are currently teaching?

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I have no real insight into this maxim yet, however I am reading about this topic in "Differentiation and the Brain" (Sousa and Tomlinson), which is one of Robert's highly-recommended textbooks. I hope it is ok (Robert, please advise) for me to put a quote from the book here?:

page 66-67

" Rather than see assessment predominantly as a tool for judgement, they [experts on assessments] regard it as an opportunity for reflections. Rather than present it as shrouded in mystery, they promote it as an exercise in clarity. Rather than cast it as wholly in the jurisdiction of the teacher, they emphasize the central role of the student in assessment. The real goal of classroom assessment is to improve student performance, not merely to audit it (Wiggins, 1998)."

Superb!!!!

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Great quote! Smile

Everyone, please do contribute with quotes when you find good ones like these.

Robert

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