ERG SES G 05, Curriculum Innovation
In terms of the current reform in the education system in Kazakhstan (Bridges, 2014) the network of twenty brand-new Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools (NIS) has been established with the aim to modernise the secondary education system in Kazakhstan (SPED, 2010). These schools represent highly selective and ‘elite’ institutions in terms of academic abilities, which act as experimental sites of innovative educational initiatives in the country. The research context for the study is one of these NIS schools.
The Integrated Criteria-Based Assessment Model (ICBAM) defines the basis of the current practice of evaluation of students’ educational achievements in Nazarbayev Intellectual schools (NIS, 2016) and allows teachers to provide quality assessment procedures and ensure their compliance with international standards and every student’s learning needs. This system is implemented in each of twenty NIS schools in Year 8 to 12.
The term “criteria-based assessment” was used for the first time by Eugene Robert Glazer (1963) who described a process contributing to the definition of a set of common behaviors and correspondence between the achieved and the potential levels of educational achievements of students. This means that the activity of the student is evaluated by means of a fixed set of requirements. Glazer notes that the assessment of criteria regarding standards eliminates dependence on a comparison of achievements with other students, and it is aimed at defining the level of competence of each student.
The system of criteria-based assessment of students’ achievements is based on the fact that study techniques, learning and assessment are interrelated and provide a unified approach to the educational-Trial (Boyle and Charles, 2010). This implies a theoretical basis and the establishment of the relationship between all elements of the assessment (learning objectives, types, tools, evaluation results).
The system of criteria-based assessment of students’ achievements
- Is based on the unity of teaching and assessment
- Is aimed at the formation of a holistic approach to student progress and achievement
- Ensures the implementation of learning objectives and collection of evidence of learning and skills development in accordance with the training programs
- Includes a variety of ways and forms of assessment based on the learning content (NIS, 2016).
Although the ICBAM is being improved every year, it seems that there are some issues within which teachers have to ensure effective teaching and learning process. This assessment system assumes two types of assessment during a term: formative assessment and summative assessment. Interestingly, it seems that a common European understanding of the term ‘formative assessment’ differs from the concept in the ICBAM, where the type of formative assessment likely is a formal control work which contributes to the final mark. Also during a term students are allowed to ‘re-take’ the learning objectives which they have not achieved before the final summative assessment. In other words, formative assessment becomes a constantly repeatable process which raises questions of effectiveness for teachers. This is where my interest lies. Therefore, my research questions are:
- How to conduct an effective formative assessment during ‘re-taking’ students’ learning objectives?
- To what extent teachers’ subjectivity might influence the assessment process?
The main purpose of this research into criteria-based assessment is to provide constructive information. That is using the results of student learning based on the specific objectives of assessment and presenting it to all educators with a potential to further improve the educational process.
BERA (2011) Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research [Online]. Available at: https://www.bera.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/BERA-Ethical-Guidelines-2011.pdf (Accessed: 15 December 2016). Black, P. and Wiliam, D. (1998) ‘Assessment and Classroom Learning’, Assessment in Education, 5:1, pp. 7 – 74. Boyle, W. F. and M. Charles (2010), ‘Leading Learning through Assessment for Learning?’, School Leadership and Management 30 (3): 285–300. Bridges, D. (ed.) (2014) Educational Reform and Internationalisation. The Case of School Reform in Kazakhstan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Glaser, R. (1963) ‘Instructional technology and the measurement of learning outcomes: Some questions’. American Psychologist, 18, 519-521. Harlen, W. (2007) Assessment of learning. London: Sage. Isaacs, T., Zara, C., Herbert, G., Coombs, J. and Smith, C. (2013) Key Concepts in Educational Assessment. London: Sage. Kemmis, Stephen and Robin McTaggart (eds.) (1988) The action research planner. Victoria, Australia: Deakin University Press. NIS (2016) The Integrated Criteria-Based Assessment Model. SPED (2010) The State Program of Education Development in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2011-2020. Available at: http://www.edu.gov.kz/en/state-program-education-development-republic-kazakhstan-2011-2020 (Accessed: 20 December 2016).
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