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S1E3 - Embracing Real-World Assessment Practices - Todd Scholl

Laura Heyes
June 17, 2022

In the third episode of the Growth over Grades podcast, Melody speaks with Todd Scholl, the lead learner at CEWL - the Center for Educator Wellness and Learning, based in South Carolina. Todd expresses his conviction in the efficacy of natural assessment for students, advocating that individual teachers should leverage more real-world assessment practices as opposed to genuine standardized tests.

Exploring Authentic Evaluation in Education

Todd explains the importance of natural assessments over standardized ones and urges educators to foster exploration and curiosity. He asserts that, by reducing punitive measures, they can promote wellness and empower student agency, which creates a supportive environment for both students and educators.

Listen, watch, or read the key takeaways below.

Episode Highlights

  • 2:55 What kind of assessment is effective in helping teachers and students grow?
  • 10:43 Where are we getting it wrong in the United States
  • 16:45 What can educators do within their own system to still help make assessment productive?
  • 31:03 What is one piece of wisdom that you’d like to share with other educators?

Key Takeaways

  • Meaningful assessments enable students to showcase their innate curiosity, offering flexibility and openness compared to traditional standardized assessments. Effective assessments may even occur seamlessly, with students unaware they are being evaluated.
  • Assessments can be crafted for individual evaluation and broader exposure to the world, such as a podcast, providing students with valuable feedback and fostering genuine engagement to inform future assessments.
  • Standardized tests need to align better with student learning needs. Instead of nurturing learning, the curriculum and assessment revolve around these tests, often resulting in a punitive approach.
  • Assessment doesn't have to be confined to traditional pen-and-paper formats. There are various alternative methods and mediums through which authentic assessment can take place.
  • The primary mode of assessment ought to be enduring, relevant, and meaningful for students, focusing on helping them find significance in their academic pursuits.
  • By shifting the focus from standardized assessments to educator wellness, educational institutions can create environments that nurture collaboration, innovation, and continuous growth among teachers. This benefits educators and positively impacts student learning outcomes, as happy and healthy teachers are better equipped to engage, inspire, and support their students.

Looking for more assessment-related content? Listen to S1E4 with Natalie Vardabasso.

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