Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Learning Power

At yesterday's Learning and Teaching Research Group meeting, we discussed assessment, and Jenny slapped our wrists about slack terminology:
  • Assessment is any method of obtaining information about the progress and performance of students.
  • Attainment is the level of knowledge and skills that can be formally tested and presented as grades/scores.
  • Achievement is the broad range of knowledge, skills and attitudes that students acquire.
Chris talked (and has now blogged) about the following paper:

Learning how to learn: the dynamic assessment of learning power. 2007 Curriculum Journal 18: 135-153
This article introduces the notion of the assessment of learning power as an important station in a mentored learning journey, which begins with the motivation and identity of the person who is learning, and moves through the awareness and development of the power to learn, to the publicly valued competencies and funds of knowledge of the formal curriculum. The seven dimensions of learning power are described, and the article reports on the findings of a qualitative study in which sixteen teachers were provided with learning power assessment data for their students as individuals and as whole groups. There were ten pedagogical themes which underpinned the teaching and learning encounters in those classrooms; these are briefly described. Learning power profiles have been used with nearly nine thousand students since 2003 and data from school-based development projects are referred to. The article concludes that the dynamic assessment of learning power serves three pedagogical purposes. First, it reflects back to the learner what they say about themselves in relation to their personal power to learn. Second, it reflects back to the teacher data about individuals, and groups, which can be used for diagnosing what is needed to move forward in the development of self-awareness, ownership and responsibility for learning. Third, it provides scaffolding for ways in which the students encountered the formal content of the curriculum. All of these operate together through the shared, and sometimes locally created, language stimulated by the learning dimensions, and through metaphors, icons and heroes which carry meaning in the classroom.

He's kindly made his slides available on Slideshare:

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