The State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) has joined hands with UNICEF and the American Institutes for Research to examine systems in place in the State for learning assessment and the effective use of data to improve learning.
“In India, several States are working towards a systemic transformation, where they are focussing on improving student learning. We are encouraging an evidence-based transformation where teachers can capture reliable and valid data, which will further help them understand what the challenges surrounding student assessment are, and how they can transform classrooms,” explained Ratna Dhamija, a consultant with the American Institutes for Research.
As a first step towards the two-year project, nearly 50 school teachers, Block Resource Teacher Educators and teachers from the District Institute of Education and Training have been brought together in Chennai for an orientation workshop.
Making a change
“Apart from discussing what the existing system of evaluation is for classes VII and IX, teachers will be encouraged to talk about how they can make a change and define education goals. Based on the learning objectives, they will come together to develop test items which will be administered to students,” explained N. Sathi, Assistant Professor with the SCERT. Based on student feedback for the initial tests, a field study will be carried out in four districts where students will be administered tests for assessment in Math, Tamil and English.
Data collected based on the outcome will be analysed and participants believe this can contribute towards discussions at the policy level on making assessment more effective.
D. Meenakshi, a teacher participating in the workshop, said she hoped the exercise would help broaden their perspective on how to evaluate and assess students better. “There is a set pattern which is followed now for all classes across the State which teachers should stick to even in classrooms. By coming together, we can examine how this can be made more effective and creative. We can also thereby contribute to student learning better,” she explained.