The belief that assessment must lead to finding learning difficulties to then be remediated is often very impractical and not founded on a sound understanding of pedagogic practice. Problems regarding conceptual development cannot and do not wait for formal tests in order to be detected. A teacher can, in the course of teaching itself, come to know of such problems by asking questions that make children think or by giving them small assignments. She can then attend to them in the process- by ensuring that her planning is flexible and responsive to the learners and their learning. One does not need special tests and exam to know the level of the children; learning activities themselves providing the basis for such ongoing observational and qualitative assessments of children. Daily observation and review helps in continuous and comprehensive evaluation.
ASSESSMENT IN THE COURSE OF TEACHING
Stages of child development is a fascinating voyage where a child tends to absorb the world into herself! She also gathers the maximum information to attain the learning objectives. Stimulating and enriching activities such as performing arts, handicraft, music, sports and public speaking are a part and parcel of the school curriculum. The school timetable provides mandatory exposure to all children of the primary school to these basic multiple intelligences. Most of the students on residence relish their stay immensely. The house-mothers and house-parents play an active and parental role in understanding and provide the right ambiance to the boarders so that each child has space for himself. ‘Home-sickness’ is a word that is heard or thought of only for a short while when the students have just joined the school. Morality, integrity and righteousness are imbibed in the tender minds to the extent that these values emerge in the children quite naturally.
ASSESSMENT AT DIFFERENT STAGES
Classes I and II of the Elementary Stage:
At this stage, according to CBSE and ICSE, assessment must be purely qualitative. Judgments of children’s activities in various domains and an assessment of their academic growth and physical development, based on observations through everyday interactions should be analysed. On no account should they be made to take any form of test, oral or written.
Classes III and IV of the Elementary Stage:
A variety of methods may be used, including oral and written tests and observations. Children should be aware that they are being assessed, but this must be seen by them as a part of teaching- learning process and not as a fearful constant threat. Rather than examinations, there could be short tests from time to time, which are criterion based. This is exactly what we do. Term-wise examinations could be commenced from class-IV onwards when children are more psychologically ready to study large chunks of material and, to spend a few hours in an examination room, working at answering questions.