One Farmer’s Understanding of Formative Assessment?

Assessment, standardized testing, grading students –  What have students learned? How do we know what students know? These questions consume the blogosphere and the twitterverse. Sometimes all the impassioned dialogue, the debating and demagoguery, the common sense and extended essays can be summed up in pithy and to-the-point remarks.

This insightful post, with a rather lovely pun on “post”, reminded me of that, and another piece of wisdom via a school board member from a rural district. After listening to a rather long and technical discussion on formative and summative assessment, Nestor cleared his throat to be recognized, and rose to his feet. After a nod from the session facilitator, Nestor said: “Seems to me, we should feed that pig before we weigh it.”

Amen, brother, amen.

About Esmé Comfort

My husband Jim and I moved to the Bow Valley in 1980, settling in Canmore in 1983. Both my children were born in Canmore and attended K -12 in Canadian Rockies Public Schools District (CRPS), French Immersion. For the past six years I served as vice-chair of the board. Alberta Government support to the CRPS Inspiring Hearts & Minds initiative created opportunities for provincial, national and international outreach. In the past I held positions on the Canmore Daycare Board, the preschool board, and various school councils/PACs; I served as president of the local chapter of Canadian Parents for French for five years and sat on the provincial board for two. I currently sit on the board of the Canmore Folk Music Festival, work full time at an events management firm and edit, copy-edit and proofread on contract. My husband and I ran a small main street business for 18 years: supply and install floor wall and window coverings.
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