How do teachers define, measure and evaluate student achievement?
It is important for all parents to understand that teachers are required to not only report on academic achievement – they are also reporting on your child’s social and emotional intelligence and how they demonstrate this inside their classroom. Teachers assess, evaluate and report on achievement of curriculum expectations and on the demonstration of learning skills and work habits.
The good news is that in order to measure and evaluate this – they also must teach, support and encourage healthy social and emotional intelligence in all curriculum strands and expectations.
This can be a daunting thought for many parents as it may translate initially as, “Why do they evaluate my child’s behavior?” It is important to note that the way a child presents is not the determining criteria that a teacher uses. Much like a child’s academic achievement, social and emotional intelligence can also be measured, taught and demonstrated. Understanding this process is just as important to the overall academic success of your child as understanding cognitive growth and development.
We are all familiar with the ways we measure ones cognitive abilities – we test. I.Q. tests measure one’s ability to learn or understand new situations, how to reason or form rational thoughts and how to apply that knowledge to a variety of scenarios. I.Q tests paint a picture of a person as a thinker, and then define ones intellect in a series of pre-determined categories. Simple? I think so.
Social and emotional intelligence therefore, is the ability to use both emotional and cognitive thought simultaneously. How can a child demonstrate social and emotional intelligence? By practicing and using empathy, intuition, creative processing, resilience, leadership, integrity and interpersonal skills. Teachers are expected to work with their students to help them develop learning skills and work habits that are both achievable and measurable. When they are doing this they are helping your child develop their social and emotional I.Q.
Some sample behaviors that teachers look for are: Does the student take responsibility for and manage their own behavior? Does the student devise a plan for completing work? Does the student use class time appropriately? Does the student accept various roles and an equitable share of group tasks? Does the student demonstrate an interest and curiosity in learning? Do they approach new tasks with a positive attitude? Do they seek clarification when necessary? Can they be reflective of their own learning?
As a student moves from grades 1 – 12 they develop, then consolidate these skills. The development of these skills is strengthened through the achievement of curriculum expectations. They are designed and taught to help students develop a positive sense of self, increase their capacity for using coping skills, develop and maintain healthy relationships, and use critical and creative thinking processes.
Developing social and emotional intelligence is critically important when considering the overall success of student achievement.
Until Our Next Lesson…