Should We Make Time To Watch and Listen?
The traditional place for assessment within teaching is at the end of a topic or significant time period when the teacher wishes to know how much information students have retained. This form of assessment often takes the form of a written test that is designed to give students a grade or level.
Many researchers, however, believe that teaching and learning is a cyclical process that begins and ends with assessment:
Assessment is a tool that begins and ends successful teaching. At the beginning it establishes what is currently known and at the end it establishes what has been learnt as the result of the planned curriculum.
(Fisher, 1998, 20)
The implication of this is that assessment should be a regular feature of teaching so that practitioners can use the results in their planning:
Assessment occurs on a day-to day basis and involves practitioners modifying and adjusting their interactions, provision and support, and providing feedback to children.
(Miller et al, 2005, 141)
Unfortunately, assessment is a time-consuming process (Hamilton et al, 2003) and it may be that it is not the best use of a practitioner's time. This report will take the form of a child study and will investigate how essential it is for practitioners to carry out ongoing observations and assessment in an early years setting.
Firstly, the child's biographical details will be set out, in order to give the reader a picture of the child and also the setting in which the observations were made.
There will then be a discussion of the methods used to collect the data in the study. Each method will be critically discussed and an explanation will be given as to why it was chosen by the researcher. The limitations of the study will also be explained, for example, the short time period over which the observations were made.
The data will then be analysed and the
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