Vowed for students, “therefore they should be abolished.” The position of manager Vincenzo Caico. INTERVIEW is an experimental project

Degrees are everything in the school world. They outline the results and motivate students to study hard and do well. Or at least, this is a theory. The debate over whether to help degrees or teach students is as old as the grading system itself dates back to the late 1800s. As surprising as it may seem, some teachers do not think that notes are a useful tool. Many teachers, especially those involved in the process of renewing the evaluation system, a debate affecting some highly educated school managers, complain about the evaluation scale because they believe it hinders learning or at least only a few Aspects of it evaluated. . These critics argue that the assessment encourages students to pursue good qualities at the expense of meaningful learning.

Supporters of the current rating system

Students, Thompson writes, often see degrees as the main obstacle to getting into college, getting a degree, or getting their dream job. For many students, this pressure causes fear and stress. Of course, many educators in most secondary, junior and senior schools and universities still prefer the traditional grading system. Proponents argue that qualifications hold students accountable for their work and provide a simple framework for their position in the classroom. Most schools rely on qualities to evaluate student performance, although some schools have banned them on an experimental basis (and only for a few types of assessments) as part of their autonomy prerogatives without, however, invalidating the evaluation system. current legislation. Some institutions favor methods such as the pass-fail rating system, self-rating, and faculty evaluations instead of degrees. To make sense of the ongoing discussion about evaluation, we have gathered some of the common arguments for and against evaluation.

The Interview with Prof. Vincenzo Caico, Chief Teacher Against the Traditional Graduate Learning Evaluation System

A few months ago, the teacher prof. Vincenzo Caico, at the helm of the “Michelangelo Buonarroti” Institute for Higher Education in Monfalcone, known in Italy for being an authoritative pilot of an important institute, a breeding ground for experiments and revisions of traditionalism, which are now too old to plaster the Italian school directly to the parents with a long letter. Written by prof. Vincenzo Caico “Evaluation” means giving a value judgment about the distance that separates a student from his learning goals. But not only that. which often should connect the learners and the learners.What do you think of the evaluation and how much it is intended for the future can be seen exactly from what will be published in the detailed interview that follows.

Executive, what is evaluation actually?

“Before we ask ourselves what evaluation is, it is worth asking what role the school should play. In addition to education, the school has a duty to provide an educational service that contributes to and supports it, which is run by those who have parental responsibility, and when it comes to education, it is not just a matter of common Values ​​to be given to boys and girls. on which our society is founded, but also to accompany their growth, in years of tumultuous and constant personal change, to discover their own attitudes, talents and desires for the future, to help them in the development of their autonomy and personal responsibility to support. When we think in these terms, evaluation should also play a formative and pedagogical role that constantly accompanies students in their learning processes, helps them to know and overcome their limits and to value all cultural and personal achievements. But learning is a complex multidimensional process. When verifying the achievement or failure of certain learning objectives, the teacher evaluates various dimensions, based on the verification test, and makes a judgment of intrinsic and sometimes unexpressed value, also taking into account the student’s scholastic and personal history. It is easy to understand that summarizing these judgments and evaluations by summarizing them in a number is a trivialization both of the efforts of those who are learning and of the profuse professionalism of those who are learning.

Executive Caico, is this blessed number still needed to evaluate our students?

“The numerical degree, or rather the position of a student’s performance on a scale, merely gives the illusion of synthesis and objectivity. The actual evaluation has nothing to do with the synthesis, for the reasons I have just expressed, because even a single service offered deserves a multidimensional analysis and feedback given to the student or the equally multidimensional student. with objectivity. Trivially, if we allowed ten teachers to correct the same Italian test, each of them would express a different judgment, because the drawings are also different despite the possible use of the same section or evaluation grid. The evaluation of a mathematical task is also multidimensional: in addition to the correct application of a solution procedure, it is possible to take into account the mastery of the specific language of the discipline, the ability to identify the appropriate solution strategy, the use of logic Thinking, etc. Evaluating means making a value judgment about the distance that separates a person’s learning level from their learning goals. In this judgment, besides the collected elements, the teacher’s recognition also plays a significant role. The only verification test that performs well for a measurement is a battery of closed questions. In this case, it makes sense to say that a student is ranked at level 38 on a full scale of 50, and in all other cases not. It makes no sense if we understand assessment as a form of learning that has the task of helping girls and boys achieve their goals. The numerical vote not only helps in this sense, but it also does not help to express the easy achievement or not of the goals.

Is there a real alternative to numerical voting?

“The choice is between a system for evaluating the learning of a summative certification nature, more suitable for judging candidates for a public competition, and a truly formative and educational evaluation system. The second model can only be based on the recognition that d ‘Learning processes are complex and personal, and on a constant pedagogical dialogue between those who learn and those who learn. The teacher is then given as timely feedback as possible, expressed through synthetic annotations or more complete descriptive judgments that assess Learning is accessible in the various dimensions of interest for assessment. However, the teacher also receives feedback from the student, useful for making their learning more effective. Proper pedagogical evaluation is constant, as a form of checking students’ level of understanding of what is taught to them, and is also bidirectional and transfo rmative, because it aims to improve both their learning processes and the teacher’s learning processes. In addition, proper formative evaluation encourages and supports the student’s self – esteem, that is, the student’s reflection on his or her own learning processes. Finally, there is also a value judgment about these attitudes, such as perseverance, resilience or the development of an effective study method that will help those who learn to learn better ”.

Manager, how could each school take action to adapt the evaluation system to the changing needs of the education of the new generations?

“It would be sufficient to recall the indications of Legislative Decree 62/2017, which states that evaluation aims at the training process and learning outcomes, has training and educational purposes, contributes to the improvement of learning and educational achievement, Documents the development of personal identity and promotes the self-esteem of all.Each school, in full autonomy, can develop its own system for evaluating learning of a formative nature, alternative to that commonly used based on grades. School I run, the Buonarroti High School in Monfalcone we managed it and this year we started a first experimental system in two first classes with the abolition of the running marks and their replacement by descriptive judgments and annotations. Finally, the only moment is where the legislation prescribes the use of the marks from 1 to 10 is, meanwhile, in the final review, but also the same Ma rken are not to be understood as cardinal measures, but as a level that corresponds in learning to a specific descriptor that takes into account multiple dimensions of learning. Unfortunately, the bad practice of using numerical qualities even for a continuous assessment is difficult to get out of within learning communities. The expressions “we have always done this” or “but we already do” are enemies of innovation and change. But I’m optimistic. In recent months, I have met some school principal colleagues and many teachers who are well aware that the traditional evaluation system is no longer sustainable, especially as it generates fear and dissatisfaction while studying, it demolishes the school feeling for our students and us Students.and, in the worst case, it leads to early school leaving. With the example of the evaluation reform in primary schools, I and other colleagues are ready to set up a large national network of educational institutes, which start autonomous experimental processes at the high school and high school level as well.

But do competencies not collide with a system whose evaluation is based solely on numbers and “summatives”?

“Of course. The traditional system based on summative numerical qualities is not suitable for examining the achievement of learning objectives from an educational and training point of view, but it is even more unfair to promote the development of skills and to certify this development. We remember that skills mobilize knowledge and skills, but also personal attitudes and experiences, in a key of autonomy and personal responsibility. Schools In addition to exceptional teachers who know how to inspire and motivate students, we also have teachers who calculate the average of the points and who ask an average of 6 and a half more questions to decide if they 7 or the 6 to the ballot paper. Not to mention the meaningless role of the n 2, 3, or 4 in an educational key, or the persistence of defining levels of devaluation and assigning them to what cannot be valued, or failing to achieve minimum goals. A proper system of formative and pedagogical evaluation, as well as, by its nature, contribute to the development of autonomy and responsibility, can promote a more effective assessment of the level of achievement of skills, both specific to the various disciplines and transversal and personally. , through the connection, in the school curriculum, of the same skills for the learning objectives that nurture their development ».

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