Is assessment for learning possible in early school years?

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Nowadays, most countries consider assessment for learning a challenge towards a more inclusive school. Their adherence to the idea may be consensual but the practices don't seem to express this desire yet. Many teachers have been wondering whether there is an appropriate minimum age for students to reflect upon their actions, along with their teacher, so to overcome difficulties. This article reports a study that seeks to understand assessment practices, developed for five and eight year old students, particularly in the use of feedback in the development of portfolios and of worksheets in the classroom, as well as the contributions of those learning practices. This study followed an interpretative approach and was carried out in Portugal with a group of kindergarten children and a group of Grade 2 children. The data was collected from classroom observations, students' interviews and documents analyses. The final results evidence that, regardless of age, students are capable of reflecting on their present actions and of deciding about future actions. However, while five year old students consider the feedback as part of their learning process, eight year old students are pretty much aware of what is right or wrong. School experience seems to contribute effectively to a certain idea of assessment and of more traditional forms of communication in teaching. Thus, assessment for learning can be developed with students of any age and the sooner they start to experience it for themselves the better it will be for their learning. © 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd.




Santos, L., & Pinto, J. (2011). Is assessment for learning possible in early school years? In Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences (Vol. 12, pp. 283–289). Elsevier Ltd.

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