The term used here in this article shares a similar meaning referring to the classroom as a black box. The scenario is more or less the same in most of the countries, inputs from outside such as; pupils, teachers, other resources, management rules and requirements, parental anxieties and so on are just fed into the box, but what goes missing is the fact that nobody cares what’s going on inside it. A class can put a teacher in an unusual situation any day as unpredictable as it is, no outside factors will help if the teacher himself is not comfortable dealing with it.
And to cope up with that, the best solution for the teacher would be to develop himself to be able to identify every nook of the lassoer, every movement of a student. That will make the teacher an efficient one, one who knows what the students are learning, one who is aware of how their students learn so that they can adapt their work to their needs, and one who identifies students with difficulties and works better towards solving it. Formative assessment is one factor that proves to be very important for teachers to receive feedback on students’ performance.
Now, the prime question is what actually formative assessment is and is it being properly applied in general classrooms as a performance raising component? In the article Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment, a few studies done on how formative assessment increases classroom achievement were discussed, though not much information about these studies were shared, but the discussion successfully shed light on some issues. This assignment is an attempt to address those issues and discuss all those in the context of Bangladesh.
What is Assessment? Assessment is the process of gathering, recording, interpreting, using and communicating information about a child’s progress and achievement during the development of knowledge, concepts, skills and attitudes. The central purpose of assessment is to provide information on student achievement and progress and set the direction for ongoing teaching and learning. What is Formative Assessment? Formative assessment should occur regularly throughout the instructional process.
According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing (MONOCOT) (1999), it occurs when teachers feed information back to the students in ways that enable the student to learn netter, or when students can engage In a salary, sell-Renville process. In its purist form, formative tests are not merely grading students’ performance, ether are used as an ongoing diagnostic tool; hence, the instructor employs the results of formative assessment solely to modify and adjust his or her teaching practices to reflect the needs and progress of his or her students.
Educational researcher Robert Stake explains the difference between formative and summation assessment with the following analogy: When the cook tastes the soup, that’s formative, when the guests taste the soup, that’s summation. ‘Assessment for Learning’ In Bangladesh Formative assessment is a familiar term but more of an unusual concept in a third world country like Bangladesh. The idea encompasses merely the concept of some class tests scheduled by the school authority. And consequentially, whatever good formative assessments do to a classroom of a developed country, it fails to do so in ours.
The purposes of formative assessments are, -To assist student learning. Identify students’ strengths and weaknesses. Effectiveness of a particular instructional strategy. And improve teaching effectiveness. -TO -To assess the -To assess Now, in Bangladesh, the prime issue would be the format of the test. The way it is developed does not support these purposes above in any way. So the question here is not about the positives or negatives of formative assessment, the question here is, should it even be called formative tests? And the answer would be ‘No’.
For two main reasons, firstly, it is mostly tilted towards giving grades and using that for summation assessment rather than giving useful feedbacks on students’ performance. Secondly, it does not occur throughout the instructional process, it is basically two or three written tests placed after the subject teacher is finished with part of the syllabus. Q: Why does teacher fail to assess pupil during the lesson in Bangladesh? A: There would be several reasons. 1. Generally the curriculum in here tends to cover as much content as it can staff in the syllabus rather than going deeper into a topic.
So the teacher usually gets a marginal time to finish the syllabus. The teacher’s rush to finish the course somehow takes away the concern away from students’ improvement. 2 leasers In Bangles 00 not get proper training. So, teen are generally not much knowledgeable about pedagogy and assessment techniques. And that consequence to tests that is ineffective to assess students’ performance and so, sharing proper feedback does not take place. . Teacher-student ratio is very high. So, it seems quite impossible for a teacher to take individual care for each student.
In that case, teachers choose to Just score them rather than giving feedback to each on their mistakes. 4. Teacher-student ratio fails the teacher to apply appropriate techniques to address each level of achievers differently. There is generally a set pattern of questionnaire which is applied to all. 5. Teachers are assigned with many other tasks than teaching e. G. Collecting fees, preparing voter list etc. So, they cannot give their full concentration on classroom. So, they cannot give the minimal time it takes to craft a proper assessment test. . Senior teachers generally do not feel comfortable going outside the set path to teach. They are not open to applying new methods to their teaching or assessment technique. Traditional tests are not getting any near to becoming ideal formative tests, but still it can profit a student if crafted and assessed properly. And it can be said because the mark assigned to class test solely depends on how the subject teacher wishes to score the student; the question pattern is not fixed there.
But in Bangladesh, no significant change or initiative is seen in that area. And the question rises, Q: Where do the current so called ‘Formative assessment’ lack? What keeps the teachers from doing proper assessment? A: 1. The traditional tests given are all about giving marks, and nothing about giving feedback. Grading is so over-emphasized in our country that teachers do not bother to give useful advice on how to improve. Moreover, this type of scoring tags ‘good student’, ‘bad student’ label which causes inferiority complex to underachievers.
And this results to their falling behind. 2. Now-a-days students are being taught that competition is everything. It is even bigger than improving oneself. Parent’s also encourage this type of unhealthy competition and puts pressure to have good score on tests, when they should be encouraging them to learn well. This promotes getting high score by any meaner to ten student Ana awe-motivates Trot learning. 3. Teachers do not bother to do research on students’ previous assessment records from their previous teachers.
Or, more accurately, students record are not available if needed, sometimes they are not even kept. So, when a teacher is assigned with a new roof of students, s/he finds a completely new class each year to get associated with. This slows down the improvement of class performance. 4. Teachers are not asked explanation from the authority for their scoring a student. This rises some more issues: a) Sometimes teachers are seen to be obstinate about their way of answering a question, they score less if a student answers otherwise, even if the answer is right.
This headstrong mentality generally comes from the discomfort of having lack of knowledge which consequences to the rote learning tendency of students rather than knowing the right answer. ) There has been a business developed out of private tuitions. And there are a big number of teachers who do unfair scoring like giving higher score to students, sometimes even overlooking their mistakes, who come to tuition, and lower to them who do not for forcing them to come to his or her tuition.
And students pay big time for this type of ill doing. The first section learns that they can get easy scores with their mistakes on, and the later gets demoralized. If researched carefully, it can be seen that each of the problems are interconnected. For example, our education system fails to create knowledgeable graduates, and hen they come to teaching, they treat their students accordingly, and this results to producing another batch of graduates with both a degree and a big gap of knowledge.
This is like a vicious circle. Just like that, the socio-economic state, the political issues, the poverty, the downfall of morality everything is related to each other somewhere down the core. So naturally, there would be no quick fix to this problem. This process is long and slow and requires much professional development and support. But if we can begin tidying up one, everything else would automatically start sitting in place.