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Anne Watson on Teachers as Informal Assessors - Essay Example

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Anne Watson on Teachers as Informal Assessors For this activity, I have chosen to discuss Anne Watson’s (2000) article that investigates how Mathematics teachers can act as informal assessors in the classroom setting. What this article offered is descriptive and empirical information that provided insights and evidences describing informal assessment and how students are assessed in this manner in the mathematics subject…
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Download file to see previous pages Included in this identification of components are criticisms on traditional, as well as new, approaches to evaluation practices. Of particular significance is the perspective provided with regards to the teacher prejudices which are often overlooked. This was identified because Watson’s perspective was detached as the author played the role of the researcher observing and evaluating the teachers she studied. A list of these prejudices and an understanding of each one could enable me to avoid them as much as possible. Also, it will allow me to understand the dynamics behind these prejudices or sets of values. Watson explained that teachers’ decisions are influenced by a number of variables. For example, there is the differences in how normal or abnormal are viewed; generalisability of illustrative incidents, sense of power, time and place, interpretation of questions and answers, assumptions of shred understanding and so on (p. 73). So when a prejudice is identified, it does not necessarily mean that it is conscious or that it is the teacher’s fault. These things are important to me to be able to inform on decisions and judgments. As I acquire a broader perspective based on this knowledge, I am able to use approaches and practices that are consistent with my objectives and standards of practice. The list can also allow me to be able to identify a mix of components and practices that I could use, tailored according to my needs and those of my students. Several frameworks were offered and I found that I could use some of them, even modify or integrate them altogether. For example, the procedure for systematic observation practice was outlined. Theories were promptly cited in order to contextualize activities and practices, such as these observations and the interpretation of observed phenomena. There are several interesting elements in the article that particularly stood out. For instance, there are the interviews that demonstrated the manner by which theory and practice differ. The interaction between the researcher and the teacher-participant provided fresh insights because when teachers provide data based on actual experience, the researcher examines them from the theoretical perspective. The interplay of these two elements – actual experience on one hand, and theory and critiques on the other, offered an opportunity for me to take useful components and incorporate them into one workable framework for my own assessment practice. Another important information that I think deserves to be mentioned is the classification of actual informal assessment practices: the assignment of level of achievement using personal knowledge and experience; the use of school-sanctioned system of assessment; the employment of test or task; detailed and systematic recording methods. The variations are quite numerous. This point underpins the fact that informal assessment practices vary because teachers can have their own assessment practices. What Watson was able to identify from the numerous practices provided by the teacher-participants was a comprehensive model that contains all the concepts and practices depicted in the manner of their relationships, interactions and characteristics in the context of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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