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   Course Title    New Approaches to Knowledge Control and Assessment in School History Education
Lecturer    Marina Kapshutar
Institution    Ural State University
Country    Russia


I. AIM OF THE COURSE

This course is designed for students of the History department, future educators, who will teach History at school.

The importance of this course is justified by the necessity of current changes, which are connected, on the one hand, with the new democratic situation in our society, ideological pluralism, wider legal and moral opportunities for personal growth and, on the other hand, with History School Education methods, theory and practice not developed up to the new situation and thus not adequate. In my course I am working out axiological issues of personality development in History education; I am determining the system of concepts revealing personal-values meaning of historic cognition; I am developing necessary and sufficient psychological and pedagogical conditions to carry out the pedagogical process aimed at every studentís personal success; I am revealing the sources of personal destructiveness, caused by traditional History teaching and I am giving grounds to overcome them.

The authorís position is based on the published research results and also on the research being presently conducted at the educational institutions of Ekaterinburg. In spite of the great changes in History teaching it is still very much traditional and inhuman towards students, and it leads to pedagogic alienation and personality destructiveness. As an alternative to the old pedagogical system, learner-centered History teaching based on Humanistic personality psychology concepts might be introduced. In the course I am showing real ways to do learner-centered History teaching, being tried by the author, such as multilevel History teaching, changing testing and assessment systems and making them diagnostic and corrective, working out new testing and assessment systems without marking at Primary School (third grade), systems based on individual criteria at Secondary School and module-rating systems at High School. Learner-centered approach in teaching History makes learning individual, helps to cultivate inner motivation, to develop a stable interest in cognition and self-reflection in studies. The new approach prevents destructiveness caused by teaching.

The goals of the course include changing the function of testing and assessment of studentsí knowledge, and development of their correcting and diagnostic roles.

Course objectives:

  • Working out axiological issues of personality development in History education.
  • Determining the system of concepts revealing personal-values meaning of historic cognition.
  • Revealing the sources of personal destructiveness, caused by traditional History teaching and giving grounds to overcome them.
  • Developing and piloting new pedagogical technologies appropriate for the new testing and assessment system (role-plays, pairwork, teamwork, brainstorming, project work, interactive seminars, business games, discussions and debates).

In our opinion, learning based on the traditional 5 graded mark system is one of the strongest sources of studentís destructiveness. That is why the problem of learning, assessment and marking requires a new attitude. Educationís meaning and objective should be reconsidered. We conducted research in Ekaterinburg Gymnasium ? 9 for gifted students and it showed that this problem is not easy to solve. From our point of view the mark began to measure the studentís, the teacherís and the schoolís success; it also measures the reason for a childís unfavorable position in the family, his/her constant fear of learning and inadequate social status of a growing person. The present knowledge control and assessment system is deforming a childís personality, firstly because it does not have the potential of true differential attitude toward studentsí personality, it does not take into account the actual and nearest development zones, it creates constant psychological tension, it destroys motivation of learning. It builds barriers to humanistic attitude to the child from the teacher and it slows down his/her professional creativity.

The alternative for the traditional model is the learner-centered model that can offer teaching adequate to a person of a certain age, it gives him/her opportunities to look around, to work out lifeís guidelines and values. It is important that the person can see the problems and solve them independently, to get knowledge and not fear of the unknown, that he/she has the right not to know or to be mistaken. From the position of humanistic pedagogy the objective of learning is to teach and not to control or punish. To control from this position means to diagnose and to correct. In this case the teacherís assessment opinions are very important if they are constructive, if they strengthen motivation and learning interest. To overcome destructiveness of the present marking system we suggest a new knowledge control and assessment system: teaching without marking in primary school, individual-criteria teaching in secondary school and module-rating teaching in high school.

II. METHODS USED

Sources, instruments and methods of assessment.

Sources

Instruments

Examples of Methods

Tutor

Implicit criteria

Essays

Other tutors

Global

Problem sheets

Post-grad tutors

Explicit criteria

Unseen process

Demonstrators

Criteria reference

Lab reports

Student self

Grading

Presentations

Student peers

Marking scheme

Projects

Employers

Dimensions

Group projects

Mentors

Rating schedules

 

 Checklists

III. COURSE CONTENT

I. What is assessment?

1. The purpose of assessment is:

  • to provide feedback to students to improve their learning
  • to motivate students
  • to diagnose studentsí strengths and weaknesses
  • to help students develop their skills of self-assessment
  • to provide a profile of what a student has learnt

2. Trends in assessment:

From

Towards

Written examination

Coursework

Tutor-led assessment

Student-led assessment

Implicit criteria

Explicit criteria

Competition

Collaboration

Product assessment

Process assessment

Objectives

Outcomes

Content

Competencies

Course assessment

Modular assessment

Advanced levels

Assessed prior learning

III. COURSE CONTENT

  1. What is assessment?

  1. The purpose of assessment is:

  • to provide feedback to students to improve their learning
  • to motivate students
  • to diagnose studentsí strengths and weaknesses
  • to help students develop their skills of self-assessment
  • to provide a profile of what a student has learnt

  1. Trends in assessment:

From

Towards

Written examination

Coursework

Tutor-led assessment

Student-led assessment

Implicit criteria

Explicit criteria

Competition

Collaboration

Product assessment

Process assessment

Objectives

Outcomes

Content

Competencies

Course assessment

Modular assessment

Advanced levels

Assessed prior learning

II. Student learning

1. What is learning?

  • learning is an increase in knowledge,
  • learning is memorizing,
  • learning as acquiring facts and or procedures which are to be used,
  • learning is making sense,
  • learning is understanding reality.

2. Studies of student learning:

  • learning in an academic context;
  • motivation, personality and learning;
  • the development of approaches to learning;
  • learning in professional contexts.

3. Learning and skills:

  • knowledge skills;
  • thinking skills;
  • personal skills;
  • personal attributes;
  • practical skills.

II. Methods and strategies:

1. Assessing essays:

  • designing essay questions;
  • marking essays;
  • managing time: marking large numbers of essays;
  • varying essay methods.

2. Multiple choice questions:

  • constructing standard MCQS;
  • some technical aspects of MCQS.

3. Assessing practical work:

  • auditing laboratory work;
  • assessing laboratory reports and notebooks;
  • different learning tasks;
  • observing students at work;
  • providing guidance and feedback.

4. Assessing projects:

  • guides on project work;
  • research on project work;
  • objectives and assessment;
  • guidance and feedback;
  • structured approaches to projects.

5. Assessing problem-solving:

  • studies of problem-solving and their implications;
  • a taxonomy of problem-solving;
  • designing and marking problems;
  • developing strategies.

6. Assessing oral communication:

  • presentations and their assessment;
  • assessing the management of discussion;
  • assessing oral proficiency;
  • assessing consultations.

7. Peer-and self assessment:

  • Peer-assessment:
  • research on peer-assessment;
  • using peer-assessment.
  • Self-assessment:
  • uses and usage of self-assessment;
  • research on self-assessment;
  • meta-cognition: learning to learn;
  • designing self-assessment tasks and criteria.

8. Using computers in assessment:

- using computers for designing and developing assessment tasks;

  • using computers for assessment;
  • recording and transmitting marks.

9. Changing assessment procedures.

10. Reliability, validity and examining.

 



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