Professional learning and student assessment

 

Timperley’s (2011) ‘Using student assessment for professional learning: focusing on students’ outcomes to identify teachers’ needs’ brings to light many issues that are relevant to professional learning today.

 

Here are 2 things that I took away from the reading.

 

  1. The pivotal role of leadership.

 

Timperley’s (2011) contextualises their involvement noting that “leaders have an important role to play in shaping this context if professional learning is not to become a series of events with little impact on practice or student outcomes” (p. 24). Here, her proposed ‘cycle of inquiry’ eliminates the idea that professional development is a one-off thing. The cycle can be observed below.

 

(Timperley, 2011, p. 25)

 

In order to have an impact, teachers can be involved in a broad range of activities. They may include:

 

identifying the needs of students and ensuring they are priority needs for the school; working with teachers to unpack the current levels of knowledge and the skills they bring to their classroom practice; ensuring implementation in classrooms; and assessing the impact (p. 24).

 

              2.  The Teacher inquiry and knowledge-building cycle to promote valued student outcomes

 

Timperley’s (2011) framework is based around five stages that begin with assessing what ‘knowledge and skill students need’ below, then repeats after asking ‘what has been the impact of our changed actions?

 

What knowledge and skills do our students need?

 

What knowledge and skills do we as teachers need?

 

Deepen professional knowledge and refine skills

 

Engage students in new learning experiences

 

What has been the impact of our changed actions?

 

Timperley’s (2011) identifies “that assessment information is central to the cycle and includes both assessment of student learning and the effectiveness of their own teaching practice” (p. 5) I think that one of the vital components to her model. From my experience, the further you get from using tangible data, the harder it is to quantify results.

 

References

 

(please note that formatting problems within WordPress have impacted the correct indentation of referencing below)

 

Timperley, H. (2011). Using student assessment for professional learning: focusing on students’

outcomes to identify teachers’ needs. Retrieved from http://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/about/research/timperleyassessment.pdf

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