• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15
  16. 16
    16
  17. 17
    17
  18. 18
    18
  19. 19
    19
  20. 20
    20
  21. 21
    21
  22. 22
    22
  23. 23
    23

An analysis and evaluation of pratical investigative assessment.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

AN ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION OF PRACTICAL INVESTIGATIVE ASSESSMENT. Sreeja Bhaskaran Introduction What you test is what you get. In the quest for accountability using the tool of assessment inevitably results in a tailoring of teaching to the required assessment. The pressure is on to teach the skills that can be counted and reported, but just how useful are these skills? Assessment in school science as with other subjects can take many forms from oral questioning to the marking of exercises set for homework or short written tests of knowledge. Most often we think of assessment in the context of public examinations such as the GCSE and the A-Level. Much of the media attention and political commentary places enormous faith in the ability of examination systems to give absolute answers. Indeed educationalists have identified government policy as that of an "empty commitment" (Black and William page5, 1998). Whilst the TGAT have publicly emphasised the importance of formative assessment the reality is that resources and political policy is clearly focused on the external testing of teachers and schools. Undoubtedly the national curriculum has increased the amount of testing. In the UK students are compulsorily examined at four points during their school career at ages 7, 11, 14 and 16. Summative assessment does have a role in so much that it can provide information for parents and employers that can indicate the overall achievement of pupils over a period of time. However it does not help the teacher of a pupil identify areas of difficulty early enough to correct them. The end of a topic test does not leave room to help the failed child to learn better. If the majority of assessment is seen to consist of testing low level skills and fact based knowledge, this is the diminishing of education to training students to perform certain prescribed behaviours, emphasis on outcomes rather than processes, encouraging the passive nature of learning and elevating the trivial observable short term behaviours over enriching, high order, creative, open ended, lifelong aspects of education. ...read more.

Middle

By doing this I was enabling the pupils to focus on the nature of the task and start to pinpoint the key variables involved. It also got the problem into a form that could be investigated and led to discussions of the practicalities of solving the problem. Having perceived the problem and reformulated it through identification of variables, to give further guidance with planning I provided a support sheet devised by the department which contained an array of questions. Frost (page 71, 1995) identifies such questions as supporting students in undertaking the thinking and decision-making processes for themselves (appendix 8). I was also able to use the sheets as formative tools to give feedback to the less able students, by collecting these planning sheets and adding comments and further questions to stimulate their thought on their planned procedure (appendix 9). Another reason for relatively high achievement in this skill area is that it may well be a skill that they had been able to exercise during previous practical activities. Obtaining evidence was another skill area, which faired relatively well with only two pupils failing to be awarded any marks due to absence and incompletion of reports. Using apparatus, making measurements and observations are all basic practical skills that Parkinson (1994) rightly comments would have developed through pupil's prior practical exercises. All pupils were able to make appropriate observations and the majority met the needs for accurate results through systematic and repeated measurements (appendix 10). This was also the point where pupils had the opportunity to do a "trial run" and be able to modify their techniques and strategies appropriately. My own strategy at this point was to create a balance between encouraging pupil to work independently and also giving constructive feedback about apparatus, materials and strategies that pupils adopted. I deliberately tried not to make the procedural demands to complex due to the classes relative inexperience and timing factors. ...read more.

Conclusion

Practical assessment of this kind is designed to elicit critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills which serve to prepare students for more competitive high performance work places which demand individuals have and be able to use such skills. The teaching and assessment of scientific investigation is not a simple task, particularly when you are relatively inexperienced. Investigative work differs in a number of ways from other types of practical work. For example investigative work gives pupils the opportunity to test their own understanding of scientific phenomena, encourages pupils to make statements that they can test, allows them to plan their own investigations, gives opportunity for discussing ideas with other pupils, it in reality encompasses a whole range of activities that are centered around helping pupils to learn. The role teachers take in these investigations must be as Frost (1995) suggests "compliment and support" the role of students. The teacher's skill lies in their ability to enable students to undertake the thinking and decision making for themselves. It is all too easy for prior practical experience to take over and tell students what to do. I felt I managed to achieve the optimal balance when pupils were initially planning and implementing their investigations without explicitly dictating and telling the pupils what to do. The suitability of this approach was validated by the fact that pupils achieved relatively high marks in these skill areas (appendix 5). However when it came to analysing and evaluating evidence I could see I gave insufficient guidance due to time constraints and also a concern to ensure students think independently. I may well adapt the framework for structuring lessons recommended by the Open Work in Science Project (1992). The framework consists of five distinct stages focusing, exploratory, reporting, consolidation and application and discuss utilising different techniques of formative feedback. Furthermore I would need to give more thought into context and objectives that I want to achieve through having completed an investigation. It would be useful in the future to adopt a teacher-planning sheet for investigative work as suggested by Parkinson (page 125 1994). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Acquiring, Developing & Performance Skill section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Acquiring, Developing & Performance Skill essays

  1. Rounders analysis.

    His bowling was quite inaccurate due to the fact that he often let the ball go too late. This resulted in the ball going too high, making it a 'no ball'. His knowledge of the rules was fine from what I could see, as he always knew when there was a 'no ball' and stayed within the bowlers box.

  2. Swimming - PE practical project.

    This is so the swimmer can see the end and bottom of the pool at the same time. The swimmer should start exhaling through the mouth as soon as the mouth enters the water.

  1. Personal Exercise Programme (PEP).

    more ideal to do exercises with lower weights and more repetitions My results in the sergeant jump test show that the power of my legs has improved as a result of my PEP. I scored 130 kg/m/sec at the end of my PEP compared to 126 kg/m/sec at the start of my PEP.

  2. Self analysis of weaknesses in table tennis - Comparison to elite model 2

    ball just as it has bounced, but I fail to guide the ball therefore once the ball has bounced off of my bat, it is uncontrolled resulting in the ball going anywhere, and may only hit the table more by luck than any judgement.

  1. Sport Science - Sport Psychology Task 3

    Positive self talk uses eustress and an "I can do this" attitude - usually resulting in the desired performance. However negative self talk can cause distress on a performer and subsequently negative effects.

  2. Technique Sheet Activity - Swimming Front Crawl

    During the in sweep of the left arm it was important to think about the distance between the chin and left shoulder and the swimmer did so correctly as the head started to rotate along with the body to breathe, and the chin was locked close to the shoulder.

  1. Critically analyse your own performance in your chosen sport using suitable notational methods. Include ...

    � Psychological goals - maintaining concentration for the whole innings "Perhaps even more central to adult learning than elaborating established meaning schemes is the process of reflecting back on prior learning to determine whether what we have learned is justified under present circumstances.

  2. Aim: to plan, perform, monitor and evaluate a 10-week training program for a specific ...

    I feel as if I could push myself more with the weights that I was doing on the machines, therefore I decided to increase the weights. I had increased the weights on the abdominal from 20 to 25kg in the session and felt it was more challenging and was working my abdominals more efficiently.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work