Assessing Creativity

Galang, Johnny

CA

Brookhart, S.M. (2013, February). Assessing Creativity. Educational Leadership 70(5), 28-34. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb13/vol70/num05/Assessing-Creativity.aspx

This article presents a clear definition of “creativity” and presents ideas for stimulating and assessing creativity. There is a creativity rubric, written with the caveat that the goal is not to grade creativity but rather to help define creative and to promote thinking about concrete strategies for teaching and promoting creativity.

This article present great information in an easily understood format. Furthermore, it includes examples from real classrooms, which helps to envision how this information can be applied.

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Harvard’s Project Zero

Galang, Johnny

CA, ET

Harvard Graduate School of Education (2018). Homepage. Retrieved from http://www.pz.harvard.edu/

Project Zero is a comprehensive website with many resources for curriculum development, assessment, and a wealth of other topics. There are free tools and education around topics such as essential questions, deep learning, and developing a culture of thinking.

It may be overwhelming to someone who is new to educational theory, but can provide useful tools to push your practice further.

Formative Assessment for the Common Core Literacy Standards

Clem, Katy

CA

Calfee, R., Wilson, K. M., Flannery, B., & Kapinus, B. (2014). Formative Assessment for the Common Core Literacy Standards. Teachers College Record, 116(11), 1-32. Retrieved from http://www.tcrecord.org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/library/content.asp?contentid=17649

“Assessment for learning rather than testing of achievement”…yes! Outlines common core standards clearly; provides insight into formative assessment method for evaluating learning in a meaningful way.

The team of authors succeeded at clearly laying out and explaining what is actually written in the Common Core standards, weeding through varied and expansive opinion on the issue to get to their express purpose and core. The approach to assessment outlined in this article focuses on the process of gathering feedback on student learning with a goal of adjusting ongoing teaching, linking closely to the connected goals and approaches found in inquiry-based learning. I still wonder how this approach can be scaled to evaluate efficacy across a state or nation; can the original goal of national standards, reducing discrepancies in educational opportunity based on socioeconomic or geographical factors and ensuring that all schools provide equal educational opportunity, be achieved without the norm of standardized testing? I am deeply encouraged by what I’m reading regarding the direction in which assessment is headed, but I am still stuck on what that looks like when scaled to a national level or tied to federal funding.

 

Defining Learner Success in the Digital Age

Thompson, Ayana
CA-Formative and Summative Assessments
Broekhuizen, L.V. (2013)Defining Learner Success in the Digital Age. AdvancED. Retrieved from http://www.advanc-ed.org/source/defining-learner-success-digital-age
Summary: Findings suggest that assessment mirror the innovative thought process that we are seeking to instill in our children, that the learning process should guide educators in finding new ways to assess students.
Rating: Article provides possible areas of research for interested MLIS students.


The Challenge and an Invitation – Kohn – 2009

Jeselyn Templin

CA

Kohn, A. (2009). The challenge and an invitation. Knowledge Quest, 38(2), 12-13.

Summary: Kohn likens the techniques of standardized testing to the concept of reading being “more than decoding.” The article explains that many school programs decontextualize their materials and only teach to the test, instead of putting curriculum into a real-world context that students will be able to retain and use later in life.

Evaluation: I would have liked this article to be longer than two pages because I feel Kohn has a lot of valuable insight on the subject. Well-researched and interesting. The article explains why standardized testing is not effective as a basis for widespread education in a succinct way that anyone can understand.

New Assessments Help Teachers Innovate in Classrooms

Eric Sanderson

CA / IL

Jayson, S. (2016, October 13). New assessments help teachers innovate in classrooms [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.hewlett.org/new-assessments-help-teachers-innovate-in-classrooms/

Summary. In this post on the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation education website, Jayson reports on contemporary models of formative assessment associated with emerging best practices of 21st century learning and teaching. First, Jayson provides a snapshot of formative assessment using digital badges at Del Lago Academy in Escondido, California. Second, Jayson sketches out the development and introduction of periodic “performance-based tasks that can be done in an hour or less” at Two Rivers Public Charter School in Washington, DC. Finally, Jayson summarizes the efforts of Henry County Schools outside Atlanta, Georgia, to follow a “personalized learning model” in which “feedback is the focus.”

Evaluation. While this post does not provide detailed information about any of the formative assessment concepts described above, it is a useful introduction to 21st century curriculum and assessment models and to the variety of schools and districts implementing them. This post also provides a generalized overview of the need for reevaluating formative and summative assessment models during this time of transition in primary and secondary education.

How do we do PBL – Project Based Learning?

Gabrielle Thormann 

CO, ET, CU

Weyers, M. (2014). PBL Project Planning: Matching Projects to Standards.  Edutopia, retrieved from:  http://www.edutopia.org/blog/pbl-pilot-project-planning-standards-matt-weyers-jen-dole

This article is the third article of a series of articles about how to implement project-based learning (PBL) in a middle school.  Before discussing this article, it’s useful to mention the two previous articles and beyond:  a stream of articles comprises a journal of implementing PBL.  In Minnesota a group of educators started with a reflection on current teaching practices that developed into a District Strategic Plan.  The teachers took the plan to their administrator with their mission statements with one being: “Byron Public Schools will leverage real-world tools and skills to develop in students a passion for learning.”  This particular public school is its own small district, and thus as part of a state mandate this public school partnered/”integrated” with other public schools.  It took time and steps to create the Project Based Learning program.  When they were ready, teachers introduced the program to parents and students.  Key points of the philosophy behind the program were presented.
This third article is useful in that failures are pointed to and rethinking begins. The success of a project based on kiva.org is noted, as two PBL sites and resources were used, and parent involvement and collaboration is spoken of.  Taking a glance at the next article, the focus is primarily on the development of real-world projects:  one again based on The Kiva Project, one on a local environmental nature center, and one entrepreneurial project based on a TV show format. 

By following the next arrows on the bottom of this article, one can continue seeing the development of their program.  I appreciate this series of articles as a journal and reflection of how teachers created and implemented a program they had never done before.