Week 6 ECS 410

Struggles with Assessment as a Learner

When I was in school the assessment that I was graded by was fairly standard. It was tests, quizzes, worksheets, etc. I am a visual learner so I need to be able to watch someone else do it first or have an example present in order to understand what I’m being asked to do usually. This made tests and quizzes really hard for me as I don’t really know how to start something from scratch and as a result of my grades really suffered but I would always do well when I had someone get me started or I had just done the example. The typical form of assessment is not one size fits all because clearly it only applies to a few numbers of students. I never had an opportunity to be assessed in any other way which was frustrating because I knew that I was smarter than what my grade was reflecting. Brookhart (2013) says that rubrics are important because they are supposed to clarify learning targets and the qualities their work should have. Rubrics are helpful because it shows you what elements are expected in your project, but if the student adds in a piece that THEY think is important it is marked as incorrect because it’s not in the rubric and that’s unfair. Brookhart (2013) also mentions that rubrics can be a very helpful tool for teachers because it also gives them something to follow as they teach but they need to be done properly so there is no confusion. I think rubrics can be great as a form of assessment but should be formed and tailored to help all students.


ECS 410 week 5

In “ASSESSMENT, TEACHING AND THEORIES OF LEARNING” by Mary James talks about in the first paragraph the topic of “Alignment between assessment and learning”. The paragraph starts by explaining how when doing a short answer question on a science quiz it is all just a recall of facts and doesn’t actually require a student to actually ‘know’ the facts. Quiz and tests have become a competition if you can cram and spit out as much information as possible and then forget everything after your done. I know for myself after I finish a test 99% of the information immediately leaves my brain. This method is frustrating because the aim isn’t to gain knowledge it is to get a good grade. In this article, there are a variety of examples in regards to assessment. In one example a student is placed alone in a room and given a test. I had to do this a couple of times as a child and I remember a teacher saying to me “ you’re lucky you won’t have any distractions” but I didn’t feel lucky, I felt awkward and the silence was too much. I also felt like I couldn’t pay attention as easily and I could drift off task. 

In Hinchey’s article, he used music to explain the way students think. He explained it as we tend to stick to what we think is right and we don’t like to try new things. I would struggle with this because I have a fear of looking dumb so I stick to what I know how to do. Going into the future I should try and be more open to trying new things.

ECS 410 week 4

In the Edugains video, they defined feedback as closing the space between ones learning goals and their independence. In the video, there are 4 topics: relating feedback to learning goals and success criteria, planning opportunities for providing and acting on feedback, Providing effective descriptive feedback, and increasingly engaging students in their learning. When giving feedback I was taught to give what is called a “compliment sandwich”  which means 1 good thing, 1 thing that needs work and then another good thing. Being criticized is hard, and it’s hard to do so by this method it breaks the news easy and ends on a high note. Giving only negative feedback is very discouraging to students so be sure to trow in praises. Also say what they have done well, what they could do better, and how they can improve to give them structured feedback. Giving positive helpful feedback is an easy way to encourage students, help them understand the expectations for the next assignment and builds a positive relationship.

ECS 410 week 3

Rowsell, J. & Walsh, M. in Rethinking Literacy Education in New Times: Multimodality, Multiliteracies, & New Literacies article presents an overview of new research, pedagogy, and practice in literacy education. In an ever-changing digital world, educators are playing a game of catch up to keep their student’s attention and challenging the notion of what it means to be literate. This article defines the term literacy and traces its development in the technological age. Roswell and Walsh acknowledge the change in processing modes when comparing traditional paper literacies and technological literacies of today when examined together. It’s no secret or surprise that kids are more drawn to reading something on an iPad versus reading something out of a book, we call this the 21st-century learning. It’s also clear that classrooms are heading towards a digital model of learning and paper handouts and books are becoming outdated.  Technology is simpler, faster and overall more efficient in the teaching world because of the way students respond to it. For me, I think the reason it took so long for technology to be considered as literature is the prejudice that it is just for fun or a distraction. hopefully, as educators in the future, we can all take a step into modernizing what the definition of literacy is.

In Introduction Assessment as a Tool For Learning, Dochy, F. & Mcdowell, L. challenges the traditional notion of assessment as a measure of understanding. Dochy, F. & Mcdowell, L argues that in order to make assessments authentic the assessment needs to e always incorporated into the assignment and they think that the best way for students to show their learning is to judge based on the process they make rather than the end result. By following what Dochy, F. & Mcdowell say this could make assessment less daunting for students as they won’t feel so much pressure for a perfect end result.

As a student myself I can relate to feeling the pressure to turn out the perfect project and not care if i actually learned about anything. Overall I feel as though if we focus on the process of the assignment rather than the grade at the end students would retain much more knowledge and grades would actually go up.

ECS 410 WEEK 2

Brown, Race, and Smith’s article talks about how to guide our students through the school system successfully and for the ultimate goal of the student attending university. Teachers are for setting standards for students, pushing them to achieve more, give positive/ constructive feedback and reinforcement, and helping them learn from past mistakes.

Volante’s text, says that students need to be given opportunities to assess their own work this is important because it helps students recognize their own mistakes in their work and teaches them responsibility in caring for their education. It also talks about how teachers need to pay attention that their forms of assessments are inclusive and be careful to avoid biases. Avoiding biases will help steer students away from existing stereotypes and prejudices.


My assessment philosophy: 

My personal philosophy on assessment is 2 things, never take off late marks and aim to steer away from one size fits all assessment rubrics. I think that on assignments I only want to mark on what the students know and not have late marks. Of course, there are circumstances where the student could be constantly be handing things in late but that could also stem from other things like home issues and learning disabilities so its not exactly fair to never give grace with late assignments. I want to steer away from one size fits all assessment because one student’s very best work could be another student 60. When students are compared to each other it can start to discourage them from trying. in the Cambridge dictionary, it says that assessment is: “the act of judging or deciding the amount, value, quality, or importance of something, or the judgment or decision that is made.” Assessment is how we value and grade our students on how strong or weak they are in their subjects.

When designing assessments I think it is important to know who your learners are. Assess your learners in a way that you can explain to them what is expected in order to give your students the best chance of success. Everyone learns in different ways so being able to change up the ways that we can assess our students allows us to better grade our students.


Jagged Worldviews Colliding.

November 4th.

In “Jagged Worldviews Colliding,” Leroy Little Bear describes the worldviews of Aboriginal peoples and compares them to the “Eurocentric worldview” of settler society.  Reading “Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision” about the contrast in Indigenous worldviews vs. North American worldviews were really interesting and different for me to learn about. I believe assimilation and colonialism have played a massive factor in why I and many others were left unaware. First nation’s people’s voices have been suppressed and silenced that much of their culture and worldviews have been erased and lost by the more powerful culture. “Colonialism […] tries to maintain a singular social order by means of force and law, suppressing the diversity of human worldviews, instead “creates oppression and discrimination”.  In school, I only learned whatever was in the textbook and I doubt that they had any sort of indigenous material. Math was very traumatic for me as I have struggled with it my entire life and then had some really horrible teachers. Once in grade 8, I had a teacher say “ want to see something funny? Let’s watch Lily do some math on the board.” or another personal fav memory was when in grade 12 I had a different teacher make me try to figure out a math problem while throwing garbage at me and then finishing up the class with backhanding me in the face with a stack of papers… ahh, the joys of going to a small school with too much male privilege. So because of these experiences, I have “math trauma.”  when people ask me to do the math I refuse because getting the incorrect answer is too embarrassing for me now.

in Louise Poirier’s article called “Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education,” she talks about an experience she math with the Inuit people and math. the Inuit students were struggling to learn math provided and no one understood why until it was discovered that they used a base 20 numeric system in their culture. so it is not that the students didn’t know math it is that they had learned a different way but to us, it was “wrong” because it not the eurocentric way. Inuit children also excel at spatial representations and different problem-solving skills. a lesson that we can take away from this is different does not mean wrong.


single stories.

October 28th blog post:


I grew up in a small Christian k-12 school. It was predominantly white middle-class conservative students and families. My school was the opposite of diversity. When we learned about black history it was because we had the only black teacher (and person of colour) on the teaching staff. We didn’t talk about race in the classroom and the only time I would hear about it would be from racist jokes or when the few “native” kids would joke around about their heritage. I learned what I knew on the internet. I am a naturally compassionate person so making the change from never talking about racial issues so learning a lot about it in university was easy for me, but very hard for some of my fellow classmates. “Why do we have to learn about indigenous stuff so much” or “I get it’s important but I’m sick of talking about it”.  

I read the world as everyone was trying to tear down Christians because that’s what I was taught. Things like black lives matter, women’s rights, and homosexuality were posed as a threat to us. Now I still follow my faith but I view the world much differently. Some of the things that were said in the classroom by classmates and even by teachers make me sick looking back. I feel as though I now read the world with two sets of eyes, one from my past and one through a critical lens. having critical lenses is important to keep a healthy perspective and this will be beneficial to yourself and your students. as educators, it is essential that we give an equal opportunity for everyone’s stories to be told.


Curriculum Policy and the Politics of What Should Be Learned in Schools

October 21st blog post:

in Ben Levin’s article “Curriculum Policy and the Politics of What Should Be Learned in Schools” he shares his political thought about how to create and teach school curriculum. Levin takes a very different idea of curriculum and how classrooms work than I do. Levin sees education as political decisions and policies, he defines curriculum as “an official statement of what students are expected to know and be able to do” (Levin, 2007).  Whereas I see it as free but that is Maybe because I haven’t been in education long enough or because I’m not even a teacher yet. When I think of changing curriculum I think about righting wrongs as in taking out the whitewashing of history, modernizing curriculum as the world changes and we learn new things or making lessons easier for children as we find better ways to teach. Levin says: “Every education policy decision can be seen as being, in some sense, a political decision.” to some degree, depending on who you are as a person you could see something as treaty education as a major political move when someone as myself only sees it as evolving. He states his political decisions for education in five organizing categories: issues, actors, processes, influences, and results (Levin, 2007).

Something that stood out to me was when Levin says “Politics is about power. Since not all can have what they want, the question is who does get what they want and who does not.” (Levin 2007). In my assignment 2, I read many articles about how sexual education, a topic that includes literally every person on the planet, was extremely hard to put into the curriculum and it was actually against the law in some places. So I can’t imagine treaty ed was easy to get it into the curriculum since some people still believe that treaties do not involve everyone. After reading the treaty ed curriculum it seems perfectly attainable for students to have a fairly deep understanding of treaties and FNMI content if the teacher and school system works diligently. As a future educator I believe it is important to remember how curriculum can be viewed as highly political so some but that shouldn’t scare us away from striving to make it better for our students.