Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Role of Assessment in Differentiation

Moon, T. R. ( 2007), "The Role of Assessmnet in Differentiation, Theory Into Practice,Issue 44 Number 3, pages 226-233, Ohio State University, Ohio

Summary: The article discusses the various roles that assessment plays in the planning instruction, implementing curriculum and evaluation of assessment in a teacher's classroom. I reviews historical uses of assessments and discusses issues that will arise if assessments are misaligned with curriculum. It breaks down instruction into these three phases then answers these questions for each area: Why does it matter? What happens if its misaligned? and How does the teacher use the data? It concludes with the following statement," Assessment is vital to the success of diffferentiated classroom" (232)

The article reads as a very sure of itself argument for the need to assess in order to better design lessons to meet the needs of learners, but in the end is a repeat of the first 4-5 Chapters of any Tomlinson book. It is lacking in evidence specifically in regards to concrete formal student observations. the author supports he claims using citations from previous researchers, but again seems lacking in depth and quality. Her strongest argument is for the use of preassessments to better plan instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners, but stops there. At one point, the article seems like it is trying to make a case for scope and sequence driven instruction when it states that preassessmets, " should be aligned with specific objectives that may come from standards, curriculum guides, a scope and sequence, instructional goals, or a teacher's knowledge of a discipline."(228) The conclusion is vague and after reading Tomlinson's Integrating differentiated Instruction + Understanding by Design, I know their are stronger research resources available.

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