Posted by: blogger on 06, Jul, 2009
By Winged Avenger
If key competencies are the threads that help to stitch the various parts of the New Zealand Curriculum together, what does this mean when we measure students' progress?
The answers to these questions are well understood by secondary teachers. We understand that the KC threads need to be woven together with subject knowledge and skills, to create relevant and authentic learning experiences.
This understanding of how KCs become integrated with students' learning must be mirrored in our reporting and assessment. Some schools, worried about issues of transparency and accountability in the face of external audits, seem to think that kamar-style matrices are the way forward. They are wrong.
The NZC gives us licence to do less, better. It is about going deeper. It is not about layering unintegrated reports over existing practice.
Report meetings (aka conferences) that encourage students to set and reflect on learning goals, with their teacher and parent/s, and to determine next steps for their learning and participation in school align well with the NZC. So do lots of other things that are not necessarily quantifiable, but are absolutely relevant to a vision of confident, connected, life-long learners.
As we move forward with the implementation process, let's remember that while rubrics and matrices look neat and tidy, we're now in the business of moving to pedagogies that are centred on students' learning - and ongoing learning for teachers. We're well beyond the practice of name and hope. Feedback from the Curriculum Support Days suggests that the days of the tick box are done. Teachers understand this. School leaders need to as well.