ERIC Number: ED380226
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Focus on Authentic Learning and Assessment in the Middle School.
Maksimowicz, Michelle L.
This booklet focuses on understanding authentic learning and assessment practices and their effect on students and teachers at the middle level. After an examination of what is meant by authentic learning, five guidelines are suggested for use in selecting authentic content for middle level students. Specifically, authentic materials: (1) should reflect important themes and ideas; (2) should be consistent with curriculum goals; (3) should be rooted in real-world experiences and have application both inside and outside school; (4) should be sensitive to students' developmental progression; and (5) should allow students to engage in critical thinking. The guidelines are followed by a discussion of the value of authentic learning and its assessment. Examples of authentic assessment tools are given, and their use by teachers to base success on performance efforts that show continuous improvement over time is stressed. The booklet then answers the questions, "Who are our learners?" and "What are the roles of all of the partners to insure education for all?" The first question is answered by examining the demographics of students in terms of parental status, cultural diversity and socioeconomic level. The second question is answered by defining the new partnership roles of students, educators, parents and all community members. The importance of educators' engaging in thoughtful reflection and inquiry on questions about learning and teaching is highlighted. The paper concludes with the expressed need to focus assessment on improvement and effort, and not merely on the ability to succeed or fail. Contains an 18-item list of M.A.M.S.E. resources. (BAC)
Descriptors: Academic Ability, Continuous Progress Plan, Critical Thinking, Curriculum Design, Developmentally Appropriate Practices, Intelligence, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Learning Strategies, Middle Schools, Multiple Intelligences, Parent Participation, Partnerships in Education, Performance Based Assessment, Relevance (Education), Student Characteristics, Student Evaluation
Michigan Association of Middle School Educators, Michigan State University, 419 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824 ($2.50; make check payable to M.A.M.S.E.).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Michigan Association of Middle School Educators, East Lansing.