Is a year-level curriculum and assessment the best way for us to help students take the next step in their learning progression?
If we are to help our students recognise and reflect on the long-term progress they are making, we might do well to consider the approach of the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB), says Professor Geoff Masters AO, Chief Executive of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), writing in Teacher Magazine.
AMEB grades are not tied to particular ages or year levels, teachers work with individual students who can be at very different points in their learning and assist them to work towards the next level of proficiency, and each grade – from the Latin gradus for step – is a step on a learning progression, Professor Masters notes.
ACER is pursuing this kind of approach through the ACER Certificates program. Graded assessments and accompanying certificates have been developed at five levels of mathematics proficiency and reading proficiency.
‘What is important,’ Professor Masters says, ‘is that students, parents and teachers have a clear roadmap for establishing where individuals are in their long-term learning, setting appropriately challenging, personalised goals for further learning so that students can take appropriate steps on their learning progression, and monitoring and celebrating the progress each student makes.’ ■
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‘Promoting long-term learning progress’, by Geoff Masters, is published in Teacher.