Welcome

Welcome to ETFO’s new online resource, “ETFO Members Sharing in Assessment”.

This website is dedicated to honouring and sharing the assessment tools used every day in Ontario classrooms.

ETFO has a strong position on the importance of classroom assessment and the information that teachers gather on a daily basis. ETFO sees this site as an opportunity to help members enhance their understanding of assessment and learn new strategies and approaches that are meaningful, well-organized and utilized by their peers in the classroom. Teacher expertise is “the foundation for increasing teacher quality and advancements in teaching and learning or this expertise becomes more widely available when accomplished teachers model and share best practices” (York-Barr & Duke, 2004). This site is a professional learning environment where teachers can share successful tools with one another. The website provides a collaborative platform that features a collection of examples of practical tools that ETFO teachers are using to make assessment work efficiently and effectively to enhance student learning.

ETFO recognizes the value of our members’ wisdom and experience in all areas of their teaching practice and has long been an advocate for teacher professional judgement. Professional judgement is informed by professional knowledge of curriculum expectations, context, evidence of learning, methods of instruction and assessment, and the criteria and standards that indicate success in student learning.

Professional Judgment is now defined in our new central agreement. Section C. 2.5 of the Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Agreement reads as follows:

“Professional Judgement” shall be defined as judgement that is informed by professional knowledge of curriculum expectations, context, evidence of learning, methods of instruction and assessment, and the criteria and standards that indicate success in student learning. In professional practice, judgement involves a purposeful and systematic thinking process that evolves in terms of accuracy and insight with ongoing reflection and self-correction.

Because this language is now written explicitly into our central agreement, ETFO believes that members have a valuable opportunity to make purposeful decisions about all areas of their practice and act upon these decisions with protections that they did not have before. ETFO members now have an opportunity to return some balance to their practice. Teacher professional judgement is the cornerstone of meaningful daily classroom assessment.

Teacher professional judgement also applies to diagnostic assessment. Diagnostic assessments are an important part of the craft of teaching and help to inform our instruction.

Section C.10.00 of the Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Agreement states as follows:

C10.00

b) Teachers shall use their professional judgment as defined in C2.5 above. . The parties agree that a teacher’s professional judgement is the cornerstone of assessment and evaluation.

c) ii. Teachers shall use their professional judgment to determine which assessment and/or evaluation tool(s) from the Board list of preapproved assessment tools is applicable, for which students(s), as well as the frequency and time of the tool. In order to inform their instruction, teachers must utilize diagnostic assessment during the school year.

This means that it is you as a classroom teacher who determines which diagnostic assessment tools to use, when to use them and how to use them. A class set of diagnostic data cannot be required.

This website has been designed to further inform ETFO members’ professional knowledge and practice to build capacity and confidence. The ETFO Members Sharing in Assessment website aligns with the Ontario Ministry of Education Growing Success policy, 2010.

Image of teacher and students that links to information about the Building Better Schools project

Why Assessment?

Classroom assessment serves different purposes at different times. Assessment is not an instrument or an event but a collection of practices with a common feature: “they all lead to some action that improves learning.”

Chappuis, J. (2010). Seven Strategies For Assessment For Learning

Teachers gather assessment information through a variety of means; informal observations, learning conversations, conferences, group work, demonstrations, peer and self-assessments as well as tests and performance tasks.  Research shows that Assessment for Learning and Assessment as Learning are powerful tools to improve student learning and can be especially powerful for students who struggle (Ministry of Education, Ontario 2011 Learning For All:  Guide To Effective Assessment And Instruction For All Students).

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ETFO Statement and Definition of Equity
It is the goal of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario to work with others to create schools, communities and a society free from all forms of individual and systemic discrimination. To further this goal, ETFO defines equity as fairness achieved through proactive measures which result in equality, promote diversity and foster respect and dignity for all.

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