The INTASC Standards provides a framework for teaching that entails eight principles for the professional educator. The focus of this paper centers on Principle Six: “The educator understands and uses formal and informal strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the learner.” This paper asserts that this is the most important principle for the professional educator to demonstrate proficiency. This paper also discusses the importance and benefits of student evaluation in the improvement of academic programs.
This paper aims to address the requirements of Assignment 2.2 in Walden University’s EDAD 7200-8040 Foundations course. In particular, this paper will consider Disposition 6: “The educator understands and uses formal and informal strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the learner” (Walden, 2012). The thesis for this paper is that Disposition 6 is the most significant disposition for the professional educator to demonstrate proficiency in.
According to McGlothin (2009), student assessment is not an end in itself but a vehicle for continuous training and educational improvement. More particularly, a student’s assessment results can become the bases for continuous improvement in an academic institution’s educational efforts. Student assessment can be used as a means of involving the students in the educational process. McGlothlin (2009) also suggested that various assessment methods must be used in order to obtain sufficient feedback that will enable the measurement of student learning and curriculum success. He further suggested that student assessment methods can be either direct or indirect (McGlothlin, 2009). Direct methods involve the student providing evidence of learning that an educator can assess. On the other hand, indirect methods allow the student and those related to the student to reflect on the student’s level of learning, thereby providing the educator with perceptions of learning attainment. The results obtained from these assessment methods can provide important insights into professional development and student learning (McGlothlin, 2009).
Similarly, Sundberg (2002) asserted that student assessments are important in improving academic curricula. He likened an educator assessing their students’ academic performance to a scientist testing their hypotheses in a laboratory. The scientist makes modifications to their experiment if they are not satisfied with the results and then they try again. The same can be applied to education. Sundberg (2002) suggested that the same skepticism that scientists accord on their hypotheses should also be accorded by educators on their students’ learning as a result of classroom teaching.
In the same regard, Min (2002) contended that an educator’s assessment strategies are important as they provide students with a relational prompt and they also provide insights into the education process. By using the appropriate assessment methodology, both the teacher and the student will be able to obtain accurate feedback on the quality of the learning experiences. In turn, it will enable the teacher and the student to identify the student’s strengths and academic deficiencies, which can then be addressed in future classes.
According to Min (2002), student assessment should be considered an important part of the whole teaching and learning process.
However, with the controversy surrounding standardized assessment tests, McMillan and Hearn (2008) contended that student self-assessment may be the better educational assessment method. It is a “dynamic process in which students self-monitor, self-evaluate, and identify correctives to learn” (McMillan & Hearn, 2008, p. 48). It can lead to more meaningful learning and it can promote a mastery goal orientation, an internally controlled effort, and intrinsic motivation for the student. It allows the students to internalize the criteria for judging their success and it empowers them to guide their own learning. In this regard, McMillan and Hearn (2008) suggested that educators should emphasize this type of assessment. Moreover, with the application of practical steps, they should be able to facilitate this kind of student assessment.
On the other hand, Kirkwood and Price (2008) asserted that student assessment not only determines the parts of a course that should be studied and how those parts should be studied. They asserted that, although the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) does not change student behaviors on its own, the employment of appropriately designed assessments that take advantage of the potential of ICT can lead to changes in the students’ learning (Kirkwood & Price, 2008). They further suggested that ICT could lead to the achievement of important learning outcomes but that it must be supported by an assessment strategy that urges or encourages students to adopt a suitable approach to learning (Kirkwood & Price).
The employment of the correct and effective strategies for evaluating student performance is the most important disposition for a professional educator to develop proficiency in. These assessment strategies enable the continuous process of learning and provide insight into professional development. Student assessments enable educators to determine the portions of the curricula that are effective and those that are not so that modifications can be made, in turn leading to improved teaching and learning methods and processes. For this, the educator plays an important role as they must be able to select the best assessment methods and they must also be able to conduct them correctly.
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