Literacy and testing: Exploring alternate means of assessment and reporting alternate means of assessment and reporting for all students

Year: 1996

Author: Walsh, Teresa, Weir, Therese

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Most educators recognise the links between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and levels of results achieved through quantitative literacy assessment. Many forms of traditional assessment and reporting do not take into account the underlying cultural factors that affect student learning. This form of assessment discriminates in that it determines the student's learning in terms of the dominant culture rather than knowledge, skills, values and attitudes developed through learning in their own culture.

This presentation critically examines traditional means of assessment and reporting compared to those which reflect what the child actually knows and can do, while recognising and valuing their own culture. Through observations of teachers using both traditional and alternate methods of literacy assessment and reporting in primary school settings in the south-western area of Sydney, and the use of open-ended questionnaires completed by the participants, data was collected concerning literacy assessment and reporting methods. This data was then analysed with the assistance of NUD.IST and the results discussed in relationship to the previously completed literature review. The research study will be presented in a poster session format highlighting the methodology and with photographic representation of alternate assessment and reporting procedures which cater for the individual differences of students in our diverse society.