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ERIC Number: EJ937273
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-0145-9635
Creating an Academy of Learning: Authentic Assessment, Peer Review, and the College and Work Readiness Assessment
Austin, John
Independent School, v69 n3 Spr 2010
Most agree that schools have a special obligation to study the effectiveness of their educational programs and seek ways to improve student learning. Derek Bok, the former president of Harvard University, has persuasively argued that schools must envision themselves as "learning organizations." Like hospitals and businesses, Bok writes, schools should "engage in an ongoing process of improvement by constantly evaluating their performance, identifying problems, trying various remedies, measuring their success, discarding those that do not work, and incorporating those that do." Yet, as Bok goes on to note, few schools are willing to "reexamine familiar practices and search for new methods that could serve the purpose better," and fewer still provide faculty the incentives or the means to conduct such studies. In this article, the author discusses how St. Andrew's School (Delaware) has taken up Bok's challenge and sought to become what its head of school, Tad Roach, calls an "academy of learning." Efforts to assess in more authentic and nourishing ways have been strengthened and given focus not only by its recently revised (2006) mission statement--which speaks of its commitment to help students "do the work of scholars, artists, and scientists"--but by two other recent initiatives: (1) the schoolwide use of "teaching portfolios" in which teachers share their assessment practices with one another in a process that resembles scholarly "peer review"; and (2) the four-year involvement with a new assessment tool, "The College and Work Readiness Assessment" (CWRA). This latter initiative, already in use by a handful of secondary schools and hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the country, measures students' ability to think critically, reason analytically, problem solve, and write--skills widely acknowledged by a broad spectrum of the educational community to be essential for work and citizenship.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Delaware