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However, as discussed
previously Clarke (2012) suggests some teachers expressed concerns regarding
increased pupil power, fearing without continual teacher assessment pupils
would become disengaged increasing the chance of disruptive behaviours.  To contest this Black and Wiliam (2006)
suggest to promote effective self-assessment teachers must dedicate sufficient
time and commitment to cultivate learning environments that promote pupil
learning by making learning journeys transparent, thus in turn involving pupils
in the development of their education. 
New relationship and behaviour obligations must be addresses for both
teacher and pupils; explicitly detailing each ones role and responsibilities
(Black and Wiliam, 2006; Perrenoud, 1991). 
Black and Wiliam (2006, p.17) excellently capture the essence of this
stating the teacher role changes from presenter of learning to, “leader of an
exploration and development of ideas in which all students were involved”.    

 

Self-Assessment and Learning
Theories

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Pupil self-assessment can
be seen to be entwined with the constructivist theories of learning.  The theory is concerned with how people gain
knowledge and learn, understanding that people develop knowledge through
experience and reflection.  When learners
come across a new concept they relate this to past experiences, reinforcing or
changing what they believe (Bada, 2015). 
Predominately constructivists believe that we are each the developers of
our own learning which links closely with the concept of self-assessment.    A leading theorist within the
constructivist movement is Vygotsky (1978) who developed the Zone of Proximal
Development (ZPD), it is described as the distance between pupil current
development level and the level of potential development with guidance from
adults or peers. In respect to self-assessment as discussed previously teachers
should methodically promote discussions regarding learning intentions and
success criteria with pupils throughout learning; encouraging them to
self-assess, prior to, during and at the end of learning activities. Through
this method success criteria becomes a focus within an activity, thus pupils
are assisted in moving through their ZPD.  
 By utilising self-assessment
pupils are given the opportunity to make connections, providing an instrument
to stimulate meaningful learning (McMillian and Hearn, 2008).   As
with self-assessment a risk to learning while incorporating the constructivism
theory is pupil’s perception of the task set by their teachers (Black and
Wiliam, 1998B), this again highlights the importance of discussing and
stipulating clear learning intentions throughout learning.

 

Know-Want-Learn Strategy

As discussed throughout
this assignment, self-assessment and constructivism learning theories require
learning to be transparent; teacher pupil dialog is essential.   Similarly pupils need to be clear of the
learning intentions and success criteria while teachers require to understand
where children are at in their learning journeys to ensure appropriate
progression and challenge to encourage learning.  During SE1B my supporter teacher promoted the
use of the K-W-L strategy.  This strategy
requires the children to answer three self-assessment questions throughout the
learning journey process within a particular topic –  what pupils know, what they want to know and ultimately
what have they learnt.   The K-W-L strategy was initially developed as
a tool to aid active reading in expository texts (Ogle, 1986; Carr & Ogle,
1987; Ogle, 2009).   The strategy
promotes pupil awareness of their individual learning including current
knowledge and learning goals, it has been suggested that if learners possess
this knowledge they are better equipment to lead and track their own learning
resulting in greater learning outcomes (Black and Wiliam, 1998; Gordon and
Debus, 2002).  

 

 The K-W-L strategy can be used as an excellent
tool to aid pupil self-assessment.  
Pupils begin by exploring what they already know (K) about a topic, activating
and consolidating prior learning (Mok et al, 2006).  However Keeley (2006) warns that often pupils
will not know what they already understand even though they have sound
knowledge, this can be due to pupils not making apparent connections to previous
knowledge.  To combat this Keeley (2006)
suggests if this become apparent teachers can promote knowledge recall through
class discussions.   Secondly pupils are asked what they want (W)
to learn about the topic, giving them ownership and motivation regarding their learning
and providing an opportunity to self-assess what they think they need to learn
(Mok et al, 2006).  This section can
assist pupils, teachers and entire classes to construct learning indentations
and success criteria, similarly the section can be reviewed throughout learning
to ensure they are on track or additionally if they come across a question they
do not know the answer to it can be added to the W section to tackle at a later
date.  Finally pupils are asked to detail
what they have learnt (L) at the end of a lesson, pupils should reflect on what
they now know comparing this to their W section and success criteria (Taslidere
and Eryilmaz, 2012; Zouhor et al., 2016).  Within research Mok et al (2006) found that
the K-W-L Strategy is a positive tool for self-assessment.  It is simple to use and can be adapted for use
with both senior and infant pupils.  It challenges
pupils to make connections between prior knowledge and new learning which
enhances learner’s capabilities of deep learning and understanding (Gordon and
Debus, 2002).   Additionally through the use of
self-assessment during and at the end of learning, pupils are provided with
continual self-assessed feedback enabling them to track achievement and
progression.  The K-W-L Strategy has the
makings of an excellent tool within AifL methodology, it provides pupils with a
learning goal, support, continual feedback while enabling pupils to periodically
self-assess promoting self-efficiency, motivation and achievement.

 

Conclusion

Self-assessment is a
powerful and useful tool to engage pupils in the learning process; stimulating
them to achieve.  However teachers must
ensure they dedicate time and commitment to ensure pupils are explicitly aware
of the learning intentions and success criteria.  Through the use of K-W-L Strategy pupils are
included and involved throughout their entire learning journey giving
opportunities to self-assess from activating prior knowledge, stating what they
would like to or need to learn and finally reflecting upon what they now
know.  In SE2A I intend to introduce
K-W-L Strategy within the class.  As this
will be an infant age group I will be flexible in my approach reflecting upon
class dynamics and abilities.  I will
determine if pupils will be able to develop K-W-L independently or if they
require support with the possibility of developing class K-W-L’s promoting the
involvement of all. Making use of this approach I will encourage the pupils to
self-assess, tracking their engagement, motivation and achievement.  Additionally I will continually reflect upon
my practice to ensure all individual pupils are receiving the optimum learning,
teaching and assessment techniques which are unique to them. 

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