ERIC Number: ED341986
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
A Social Perspective on Informal Assessment: Voices, Texts, Pictures, and Play from a First Grade. Occasional Paper No. 28.
Merritt, Sarah; Dyson, Anne Haas
This paper focuses on the ways in which one teacher gathered artifacts and reflected on the progress of her first-grade students at a multi-ethnic school in the East San Francisco Bay Area. The paper emphasizes the importance of considering the social beings whose voices are embedded within the artifacts being collected. The paper uses a multi-faceted approach to assessment, examining the children's writings in three ways: (1) exploring how individual children learn the knowledge and skills which educators judge valuable for them; (2) understanding individual children's behaviors from the perspective of their emerging social goals; and (3) assessing the kinds of dynamics created by the complex network of children. In the teacher's classroom, according to the paper, five children were viewed across many contexts involving different kinds of relationships, so that it became possible to discover the texture of individual children's resources and to help them weave connections among these resources. The paper considers that children's relationships among themselves can be an important means for making school pleasurable and satisfying, and that children need opportunities to build common ground with others. The paper concludes that examining informal assessment helps educators clarify how children's social lives mingle with assessment and learning and how student problems can be understood and addressed. Two illustrations are included. (SG)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Writing, Berkeley, CA.