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Issue 5, December 2018

In this issue we provide the first in a series of articles on Gonski, looking at what it means, why it is important and what affect it will have on teaching, learning and schooling in the future, Jo Knight discusses her project to increase the knowledge and understanding of assessment within her school’s teaching cohort, and we continue to explore terminology in the educational space.

Articles

Understanding Gonski

Gonksi. A word that is bandied about amongst state and national education policy makers, particularly when an election is looming. But what does it mean? Why is it important? And how will it affect the way we teach, how students learn, or what schooling will look like in the future? In the first in a series of articles attempting to shed light on aspects affecting the teaching community, this article provides an outline of what the latest iteration of Gonski is all about.

Selecting a research topic

'Research is not just reporting what has been written on a subject; to qualify as research there needs to be an element of discovery, experimentation or testing of a hypothesis' (University of South Australia n.d.). This article is a designed to assist those who are undertaking their CEA case study.

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Terminology in brief

Our ‘Terminology in brief’ articles delve into terms mentioned in one or more of our articles or case studies. These are designed to assist understanding of subject and research specific terminology, which may not be equally understood across faculties and may be interesting and useful to readers. Shorter definitions can be found in our wordlist.

Formative vs summative assessment

Formative and summative assessment are two functions of assessment that work together to monitor and evaluate a student's progression along their learning path, to provide constructive feedback and for judgment against local and/or national standards. Find out more in this article.

 

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Case studies in focus

Transforming student outcomes through enriched teacher understanding of assessment principles and practice

Jo Knight

In her case study, Jo discusses the project her school is undertaking to increase the knowledge and understanding of the principles and practice of assessment throughout their teaching cohort, emphasising the importance such understanding has on student outcomes.

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CEA graduates

Congratulations

Congratulations to the new Certified Educational Assessors graduates!

  • Brent Bloffwitch
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Assessment Notebook

A collection of quotes, articles, and other interesting references exploring broad themes around assessment.

Any feedback that just gives the correct answer, without explaining why, is just about guaranteed to set learning back. If we are told the answer, but not why it's the answer, we are put in a worse position than not knowing it at all.

- Stobart, G 2014, The Expert Learner: challenging the myth of ability, Open University Press, Berkshire, p 136
[The most effective learning] requires a well-defined task with an appropriate difficulty level for the particular individual, informative feedback, and opportunities for repetition and correction of errors. When all these elements are present… deliberate practice [charaterises] training activities.

- Ericsson, KA (ed) 2009, The Road to Excellence: the acquisition of expert performance in the arts and sciences, sports, and games, Psychology Press, Hove, p 21-2
Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

- Thomas Edison
Broadly speaking, [agency] refers to a student's desire, ability, and power to determine their own course of action (whether that means choosing a learning goal, a topic to study, an activity to pursue, or a means of pursuing it).

- Vaughn, M 2017, 'Making sense of student agency in the early years', in Phi Delta Kapan, April 2018, p 2
It is possible to teach in a way that hits both higher grades and positive, empowering attitudes toward learning itself.

- Claxton, G 'The Learning Power Approach', Corwin, 2018, p 4
It should be the responsibility of schools to make children aware of our information environments… We must teach our children, from a very young age, to be skeptics, to listen carefully, to assume everyone is lying about everything. (Well, maybe not everyone). Check sources. Consider what wasn't said. Ask questions. Understand that every storyteller has a bias-and so does every platform.

- Postman, A 2017, 'My dad predicted Trump in 1985', The Guardian, www.theguardian.com
The implementation of the Australian Curriculum has the potential to position Australia as a world leader in education.

- Westwell, M 2013, 'When the educational neuroscience meets the Australian curriculum: a strategic approach to teaching and learning', How the brain learns: what lessons are there for teaching? Proceedings of the 2013 ACER Research Conference, Australian Council of Educational Research, Camberwell Victoria, p 51
Framing is vital: how you frame the problem, will determine what kinds of solutions you end up with.

- Leadbeater, C 2018, 'Student agency' presentation to the 2018 ACARA Curriculum Forum with Charles Leadbeater, Sydney, 9 May 2018
- Fountas & Pinnell Literacy: Evaluating teacher expertise, Heinemann Publishing
Meet the PM family, Nelson, A Cengage Company
PM benchmark reading assessment resources 1 & 2 and PM benchmark assessment profiling software, Department of Education, Northern Territory Government
- Musgrave Hill State School n.d., Pedagogical framework strategy: WALT and WILF, Musgrave Hill State School, Southport, Queensland
It's essential for teachers to help learners both understand and experience the reality that sustained effort and mindful attention to progress feed success. That belief needs to be a cornerstone ethic in the classroom.

- Tomlinson, CA 2014, 'The bridge between todays' lesson and tomorrow's', Educational Leadership, vol. 714, no. 6, p10-14
- William, D 2011, Embedded formative assessment, Solution Tree Press, Indiana
- Flinders University n.d., Flinders tips for your research project, Flinders University, South Australia
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