The work of New Zealand educational thinker Margaret Carr has long inspired me. Her ideas on assessment as valuing have made an enduring impression on my thinking about what I do in my practice in regards to assessment.
As I have been reflecting on our new Ontario Kindergarten curriculum, I have been thinking about how it impacts my collection of assessment. How can I create a means of collecting assessment that honours the child, that values them? How do I capture the full spectrum and richness of learning that occurs in so many instances throughout our days?
I am intrigued by learning stories, as discussed by Margaret Carr in her book Learning Stories: Constructing Learner Identities in Early Education, as perhaps providing a holistic means of collecting this assessment within the scope of our new curriculum. As I studied the new document, the templates in the examples throughout Margaret Carr’s book came to mind. They allowed for a comprehensive and inclusive means of retelling an event of learning and provided, as well, a means of highlighting benchmarks or goals alongside it.
I wondered how such a format would look using the four frames of the new curriculum and created the template below. I have been using these stories to gather in-depth stories of learning that occur within my classroom. It is not for every instance. It does not happen every day. In many cases, I am making quick anecdotal notes instead and amassing untold quantities of photos. However, for those times that occur that are rich in learning and complexity and potential, and I want to capture that event in more detail, this format is proving effective.
Written by Sandra Rosekat