We are very excited to be launching a new 18 month project with Pearson, exploring:
- How the workload associated with assessment can be reduced; and,
- How teachers’ professional expertise in relation to assessment can be developed.
The project is kicking off with our first ever ‘crowd-sourcing’ campaign, asking teachers, schools and groups of schools to tell us about any innovative solutions they are currently trialling or implementing.
‘Making Waves’ is a direct response to the findings of our 2017 report “Testing the Water” which showed that:
We also found that the workload associated with assessment is enormous. According to our research, teachers often face unrealistic and unsustainable expectations and many schools have inefficient assessment practices, including an over-reliance on heavy marking, mock tests and exams.
“At the moment marking, in the way that it’s required in these schools, is structurally impossible. Even just marking one set of Year 8 RE or geography or history essays is going to take up half a teacher’s weekend. And it’s simply not sustainable.”
“[Assessment currently] jumps straight to the big game, straight to the mock exams, straight to the big essays, straight to the full pieces of work, and what that has created is an excessive workload…, and at the root of that is a misunderstanding about how children best learn in preparation for terminal exams.”
What makes our new project particularly exciting is that we are placing ideas from teachers, schools and groups of schools’ at the heart of our work. The overriding premise is that practitioners themselves are already developing solutions to sector challenges.
At the end of September we will gather together the responses to our crowd-sourcing campaign and work with an expert steering group to select approximately six of the most promising ideas. Then, over the next year, we will work hand-in-hand with practitioners to study their approaches and see what can be learned.
Alongside studying innovations in England, we are also going to explore international practices to see how policy makers around the world are tackling the same issues.
So – if you are a teacher, school or group of schools “Making Waves” in assessment, please submit your idea by the end of September using this online form.
Please help spread the word!
We will then be in touch as soon as possible to find out more about what you’re up to!