Unlike Kent, I like the 'bleedin' obvious'

3rd December 2010 at 00:00

I don't usually take issue with Mike Kent, but I cannot agree with his portrayal of assessment for learning ("'Expert' theories are all very well ...", November 26).

Far from being a theory removed from the classroom, it is based on action research undertaken by teachers in class. He also misses the point about using lolly sticks instead of hands up. Instead of the teacher asking a recall question and then getting an answer from a child with their hand up, better to ask a question that provokes discussion with a talking partner and then choose randomly who answers. That way everyone participates.

When we introduced assessment for learning techniques into our classrooms, the children didn't like random talking partners, they weren't used to "no hands up" and it took time to develop their peer- and self-assessment skills. But by the end of the year, the children told us how much they valued the new way of doing things.

Mr Kent may be right that these things are "bleedin' obvious", but I'm glad I had them pointed out to me.

Grant Strudley, Primary school teacher, Berkshire.

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