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ERIC Number: ED538775
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Instruction, Assessment, and Learning: From Standardization to a Focus on Students. A Position Paper from the British Columbia Teachers' Federation
British Columbia Teachers' Federation
A fundamental goal of teachers in public schools in British Columbia (BC) is to ensure all students of every age, through the principle of continuous learning, have an equal opportunity to develop their full capacity for artistic, cultural, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth. BC public school teachers believe that the primary purpose of assessment is to support and promote students' learning. They know it is important to use a variety of methods to assess students' progress and meet students' needs. Classroom instruction and assessment practices must be congruent with a belief that learning happens when the individual child is central to, engaged in, and excited by learning. With this focus, and through a series of finely tuned and complex decisions, the teacher's responsibility is to make curricular, instructional, and assessment choices to foster the growth of the whole child. Ongoing classroom assessment allows students to demonstrate, in a variety of ways, what they are learning and thereby informs teaching and learning. Teachers know that learning is a complex process, and that students learn in different ways and at different rates. The proliferation of mandated, district-wide, and provincial testing has taken time away from teaching and learning and has had an effect on the "taught" curriculum, by both narrowing it and making it shallower. The workload on teachers has increased dramatically, adding stress to the job, and forcing some to choose to teach part-time in order to be able to comply with the requirements imposed on the system. The misguided use of school district data has not improved the learning conditions of children nor increased the resources necessary for effective instruction to ensure success for students. The so-called accountability or achievement agenda has not produced any tangible improvements for the education system as a whole nor for the children who attend schools. Teachers are committed to ensuring the best possible education for every child. It is because of this commitment that they are so concerned about the current practices in, and direction of, the public education system. If teachers are being pressured to act in ways that are harmful to children, causing children undue stress, short-changing them on exciting educational opportunities, labeling them as failures because of their language, class, or gender then there is a need to change what is being done. This paper contends that educational policy and practice must shift away from standardization and return to focusing on student's individual learning needs.
British Columbia Teachers' Federation. 100-550 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4P2, Canada. Tel: 800-663-9163; Tel: 604-871-2283; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: British Columbia Teachers' Federation (BCTF) (Canada)
Identifiers - Location: Canada