Friday, 6 July 2018

What Really Counts in Assessment by Twinkle Khanna, Teacher, Sunbeam School Annapurna, Varanasi

What Really Counts in Assessment???

Assessment- the word which gives jitters not just to the students but also to the teachers. The question which keeps everybody confused is “what really counts in assessment?” Assessment literally means judging or evaluating someone’s ability but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Every child is unique. If we start judging every child on the same parameter, we will perhaps be unjust with the students as it will not be a true reflection of their calibre. This is the biggest concern related to the assessment pattern of the education system. Every school aims to achieve holistic development of a child. Then is it not necessary to assess a child holistically? In the present scenario a child is assessed on the basis of his performance in the written examination. A child scoring 90% is considered to be intelligent and a child scoring 60% is considered to be an average child. But is it always true? Does this give us the true and actual evaluation of a child’s ability? I don’t think so.
A child may score well in the exams but he/she might lack the skills or deeper understanding required to deal with the practical real life situations. On the contrary a child may not fare well in the exams but might have the skills required in the long-run. To be precise the written examination cannot be taken as a true reflection of a child’s abilities. While assessing a child emphasis should be laid on more complex capabilities like conceptual understanding and long-term transfer skills. As educators we also need to think of some ways to help students understand and reflect their own learning progress. This will make them self-sufficient. So, next time before judging a child we first need to ensure whether we are able to see the hidden part of the ice-berg or we are still looking at the surface.