Thursday, April 24, 2008

Assessment for Learning

“In the first years of the implementation of the reform, teachers are confronted with very complex and challenging tasks. They have to teach and at the same time learn what and how to teach at a rapid rate. They are not only trying to discover the new language outcomes, but also to apply the new approach and strategies. In addition, they are refining and adapting their teaching practices through continuous reflection, assessment and learning over time. Moreover, assessing their own performance will help them know better the effectiveness of their teaching practices. They need these first years to improve and become the knowledgeable educators we expect them to be.”
Mr.Louznadji, Algerian Inspector General of English .

1 comment:

Algerian Teacher said...

It is true that within the last three years we have been confronted with very complex, new and highly challenging tasks. However, no one can deny that this reform has created a more motivating learning environment.
I find the challenge quite similar to the description of an expert :”The challenge is to define clear assessment criteria while planning lessons that have sufficient flexibility to allow for the unexpected and to recognize that valuable learning may occur beyond which the teacher initially planned." To do so successfully, we need continuous reflection, assessment and learning over time as you said. But this cannot be achieved without different forms of collaborative tasks which transform the curriculum into a real teaching-learning process.
I remember how most of the teachers were resistant to the change, not in the sense that they were denying the progress that was taking place around the world, but because they didn't feel ready or well prepared, and your answer was:"No one has been well trained." Now I understand that we couldn't be trained for something that had not existed before, Education is not a scientific experiment to be predicted as successful or not, to come back to the challenge, as it is said : "Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself" , though I feel I have learned a lot but still not enough, we cannot deny that we have been well trained during these three years, indeed we have been well trained to develop more teaching competencies and to cope with any problem-solving situation.
I am sure many teachers agree with me that we often felt complementary to each others, we often learned more while working altogether on a project, or a unit plan within our own school while we used to struggle with a lesson when preparing it at home alone as we often gave up and just followed the textbook blindly.
These three years have raised my awareness about the effectiveness of my teaching practices as well as about the learning process of my students. I am also aware that there is still a lot to learn and there are more challenges to overcome but I am quite optimistic for the future of education. I do look further but I often look behind to remember how I started and to encourage myself to go ahead.
I am also grateful and I stand in awe of Mr. Louznadji who has been the Educator, Teacher and colleague for all the teachers without exception. As I seize the opportunity to thank him before congratulating him for the large educational space he has created for us. I consider it as a gift to all the teachers for the hard work they have been doing so far.