In chapter three of “Talk About Assessment” Cooper discusses the importance of incorporating students into the research process (pg. 30). Rather than assigning questions students are expected to generate their own questions on each topic (Cooper, 30). These questions are recognized as “I need to Understand” questions and attempt to connect students with that which they are learning, while also establishing a more engaged class (Cooper, 30). Furthermore, teachers are able to use some of the questions that their students are asking and implement them in the formation of a guiding question. Guiding questions are significant as not only do they promote a deeper level of thinking from the students, but they also encourage more focused activities and assessments (Traver, 1998, 2).
Moreover, it is crucial to acknowledge that assessment serves different purposes at different times. As Cooper outlines assessment for learning provides teachers to understand what students already know, while assessment of learning allows teachers to see what students have learned and achieved (pg. 48). However, it is also important to acknowledge that we, as teachers, cannot treat and assess each student the same way. “Growing Success” makes the claim that “treating all children exactly the same means that children who need accommodations or modifications to the program in order to succeed will be disadvantaged” (pg. 7). In the same way, Cooper notes that by treating and assessing students in an identical fashion may cause students to disengage with the material either out of frustration if the work is too difficult, or boredom if the work is too easy (pg. 44).
By having students formulate their own questions teachers can gain a better understanding of where each student is at in their understanding of certain topics. Teachers are then able to build their assignments and assessment around each students’ needs and interests, thus promoting inclusion and engagement between students and learning.
Cooper, D. (2010). Talk About Assessment: High School Strategies and Tools. Toronto, On: Nelson.
Ontario Ministry of Education. (2010). Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools, 1st ed.
Traver, Rob "What is a Good Guiding Question" Educational Leadership 1998.