A model for assessment: integrating external monitoring with classroombased practice
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was that the quality of education would improve. Assessment instruments in the form of written tests were constructed in order to perform a monitoring function. The introduction of standards and the associated monitoring have been replicated in South Africa. It was intended that these elements would result in a more equitable education across the country. In neither of these countries has this process borne the results expected. The lack of substantive progress may be due to the fact that socioeconomic disadvantage and, therefore, opportunity to learn, has not been addressed. It may also be that systemic-type assessments have little meaning for the teachers, and bear little relation to classroom assessments; the perceived lack of relevance resulting in a lack of commitment to the process. Our education system is in need of serious deliberations about the broad curriculum goals relevant to society, a classroom environment that is conducive to learning and an assessment model that supports instruction. Within the assessment model we propose an instrument design that supports instruction. The assessment model includes a monitoring component, a formative component and a professional development component. We propose an assessment process where general trends can be reported for systemic purposes but also that the results of the individual learner progress obtained through both a monitoring and a formative component, are to be suitable for engagement by teachers. We honour the central teacher role in communicating both the emerging teaching successes and the currently troublesome areas of classroom learning challenges.