Sunday, June 28, 2009

Reporting to Parents

Have been thinking a lot about reporting to parents. How should it happen?, when should it happen? and what should be shared? Most would agree that school has changed somewhat yet the reporting mechanisms that are used are often based on traditional assessment measures. We now understand that most sophisticated thinking can not be measured in a pencil and paper test. We generally agree that one can become more brainy the more you think. Thankfully, our notion of intelligence is far broader than once believed. How do we however communicate, show or report this to parents. The reports I have viewed recently grade students against individual curriculum areas to indicate where a child is at and sometimes offers how much effort the teacher percieves the child to be putting in. Our reporting mechanisms reinforce that knowing stuff is more important than knowing how to learn. The picture is quite frankly imbalanced.
There is fine line between what a community expects from reporting mechanisms (how it was done when we went to school) and using vastly different reporting mechanisms to both educate parents and show a balanced picture of their child's achievements. How do you effectively show growth in a children ability to manage self and relate to others. No pencil and paper test will do that. As identified by our new curriculum document these are important dispositions, attitudes and skills needed for a child's successful future. Our staff is trialling a new year of year report for parents to incorporate students ability to be a Life Long Learner (reflect, question, persevere, make connections etc)
No real answers - trying out some ways of showing progression in kid speak in some of these far more qualitative areas. I guess it's small steps.
Your thoughts?

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