Marking, grading, offering feedback and assessment are commonly cited as the bane of teachers’ lives. Yet, they are necessary evils, so the key is to find intelligent ways to make it more efficient and effective. This issue’s Top Apps feature focuses on assessment—apps that offer real-time communication between teacher and class, digital and automated grading and marking tools and fun and engaging formative approaches. There is still no perfect method, but these apps are making a big difference in addressing the workload burden and increasing engagement.
Done well, assessment can spark the deepest kind of learning. Yet narrow definitions of assessment persist in education. Mara Krechevsky and Tina Blythe explore how Project Zero is reimagining assessment and share examples of assessment practices that foster learning for both students and teachers.
Finding opportunities for interactions within the classroom is crucial for empowering students to take ownership of their learning and gain deeper conceptual understanding. Continuing on from their previous article in CTL (Cultivating a Culture of Thinking), teachers Jeff Watson and Roger Winn continue to share how the ‘Cultures of Thinking’ model is changing their Maths and Science classrooms.
Ron Ritchhart, leader of PZ’s ‘Cultures of Thinking’ project, has been a powerful advocate for educational practices that bring out the best in people, and creating places where thinking is valued, visible and actively promoted. We sat down with him to discuss his research and thoughts on the current state of education.
What does it mean to be intelligent? How does intelligence develop and vary in humans? How much do thinking dispositions contribute to intelligent behaviour? Can intelligence be learned? Flossie Chua discusses what we know about these questions.
The arts are often placed within a context of supporting other subjects and imbued with myths about how children’s artistry is developed. Ellen Winner outlines some research based approaches to thinking about arts education and assessment.
Student-led collaboration can bring out the individual gifts of students as they develop within a community. Julie Rains shows how group learning and reflection can make students feel successful as active participants in their own learning.
Cultural forces exist in all classrooms that can be leveraged to develop a culture of thinking. Jeff Watson and Roger Winn demonstrate how to harness these forces to develop students’ thinking skills in secondary Maths and Chemistry classrooms.
Mathematics can be anxiety-producing for many children and adults. Why are so many students resistant to maths learning? Deborah Peart offers strategies for a student-centred approach that helps students take ownership of their learning.