In the last chapter of Becoming a Better Teacher, it discussed curriculum design and went through steps to help teachers implement a functional curriculum in their classrooms.
This chapter is all about assessment. This is close to my heart as I have always been opposed to teachers teaching to end of year or unit exams rather than teaching to their students’ needs and passions.
The chapter focuses specifically on what it calls “authentic assessment”, which states that assessment is authentic when it has students engage in real-life problems. This makes school and our education system less removed from the real-world and what we are, in theory, preparing kids for, but which often gets lost in practice.
The book gives excellent examples of authentic assessment and then delves into the attributes of authentic assessment. It notes that assessment needs to have a purpose, it needs to touch upon learned skills and content, it needs to be explicit in its scoring criteria, it needs to be flexible, and so on and so forth.
This chapter spoke to me; it felt as though it put into words what I already try to do with all of my assessment; make it meaningful and helpful for the students.
If you want to buy the book, here’s the link to its page on Amazon.