Chapter Three of Damian Cooper's Talk About Assessment: High School Strategies and Tools, the chapter introduces the concept of The Backward Design Model. Essentially, the model is as follows:
In Chapter Four, Cooper elaborates on Big Idea # 1 and 3. Big Idea #1 (Assessment serves different purposes at different times) and #3 (Assessment must be balanced, including oral and performance as well as written tasks, and be flexible in order to improve learning for all students). In regards to Big Idea #3, Cooper writes that many teachers focus on written assessments rather than oral assessments because they have to prepare students to this type of assessment. What struck me when reading about the university expectations is when the text mentions that only between one-quarter and one-third of Ontario graduates go to university. This is surprising to me because in high school, university was glamorized and everyone wanted to attend university versus college or the workplace. What I found most important in this paragraph was the following:
"Perhaps, most importantly, high schools must prepare students for life beyond university, college, or apprenticeships... Since the challenges of daily life require us to perform and to communicate both orally and in writing (do, say and write), classroom assessment must be balanced accordingly" (Cooper, 50).
This statement is utterly obvious, yet the balance is not implemented in schools. We graduate from high school not knowing how to complete life basics, like filing for taxes, yet knowing that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. This chapter reminded me of a picture I once stumbled upon (located at the end of this blog post). I agree completely with Cooper in regards to preparing students for life rather than primarily focusing on post-secondary studies.