Assistant teacher course/Testing and grading

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Testing and grading

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Testing and grading by assistant teachers can have the effect to degrade the quality of both. On the other hand assistant teachers have the advantage of being able to test and grade much smaller groups and receive motivation and an opportunity for personality development through the responsible task. An important distinction appears to be where to apply testing and grading by assistant teachers and where not.


Grading conference
Activity: lecture, group work
Group size: unlimited
Preparation: none
Instructors: 1
Duration: ?

Grading conference

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A grading conference can be seen as an important purpose of the assistant teacher office. The work leading up to a grading conference is made meaningful by the grading conference.

Grading the work of assistant teachers in their office could provide motivation for the assistant teachers to take their office more seriously.

  • A disadvantage is that assistant teachers could be motivated to confirm their teachers' views about pupils receiving grades.
  • A possible advantage is that teachers could test if assistant teachers did, in a responsible office, have the courage to defend their point of view and the ability to consider and appreciate the experience and perspective of others.

Should assistant teachers receive a grade for their contribution to a grading conference?
What psychological advantages and disadvantages can you imagine?

The participants should be told that the underlined passages are criteria for citizenship education (see Instructors' guide), which should provoke some curiosity to see the whole list of criteria for citizenship education, especially after the citizenship education phase. If nobody asks for the list the instructor can discuss with the group why nobody asked.

Important observations that can be made here are that grading the work of assistant teachers provides motivation for dispute, which can be used to train valuable social skills. The motivation received from a further grade for the assistant teacher office may not be a very strong motivation for all assistant teachers but for some assistant teachers it may provide a valuable degree of additional motivation. In general the assistant teacher office itself should be a source of motivation but is this source of motivation possibly damaged if the well-known motivation through grades is attached to it? Is it, on the other hand, a valuable motivation if an assistant teacher can lose assistant teacher status through bad grades?

Should a later group of assistant teachers reject the contradicting motivations they can either attempt to abandon grading for assistant teachers or form a committee on appeals to encourage challenging decisions seen as unfair. In either case the procedure provides motivation to do something sensible, which means the initial group of assistant teachers should decide on grading the work of assistant teachers.

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