Collaborative partnerships Collaborative partnerships are important for nurturing learning and wellbeing Sociocultural perspectives – learning is more than individual construction of knowledge Families should be encouraged to be active in the assessment process Learning as a process rather than an endpoint (Fleer 2002)
Effective partnerships provide voice to families information beyond what children are learning i.e. how to best support children to learn Through assessment partnerships teachers are assisted to provide authentic learning opportunities gain knowledge of children's understandings and learning experiences in and out of formal education support children’s needs provide continuity between home and formal education contexts. Collaborative partnerships
Working with families and communities Leads to improved outcomes (Henderson & Mapp 2002) Regular conferences with families assist teachers to make connections between learning in and out of formal education find out about children’s interests communicate expectations for children’s learning set mutual goals for learning follow up on issues that have arisen
Communicating with families and communities Classroom newsletters and e-newsletters Families and children should be given voice in this process Examples incorporating children’s contributions leading excursions in the community that are relevant to the curriculum.
Families and learning Sociocultural approach to assessment values different perspectives Contributions from families can assist to connect learning in the classroom to lives outside of formal education Shared responsibility for learning
Working with agencies When schools and centres work with agencies connections can be made to foster collaborative partnerships which support common education goals Partnerships between schools, families and agencies can support families to make connections in their community and to be active partners in education Working with agencies can contribute to positive relationships.
Working with agencies Beneficial partnerships between schools and agencies include: Health care and mental health services Targeted academic assistance to struggling students Family literacy, adult education, and high school equivalency programs Job training, career counselling, and other vocational services Recreation, arts, and social activities (Henderson & Mapp 2002, p. 68)
Maintaining a balance Teachers should seek to embrace assessment practice which will contribute to learner identities and dispositions for lifelong learning Educational climate internationally has contributed to outcomes based approaches to assessment What is needed is a balance between accountability for reporting to government stakeholders and providing authentic feedback to children
Maintaining a balance A test provides an individual measure at one particular time, while a story of the target skills or knowledge or disposition, in the process of developing, can include the interpersonal and the wider community and the opportunities that they have provided, and could provide. (Carr and Lee 2012, p. 133) Pedagogical documentation can add transparency to the assessment process A balance of formative and summative assessment captures learning pathways and removes emphasis on end points
Connections across the early childhood and primary sectors Strength based transition statements aim to assist teachers in school to understand the learning styles and abilities of children and improve transition Transition statements include multiple perspectives through contributions from the child, family and early childhood sector
Incorporating holistic multimodal assessment practices Recording of children's non verbal communication is common practice (McNaughton & Williams, 2009) Digital stories combine a range of modalities for communication and enable children to perform texts using a variety of modes. Children’s involvement in the creation of digital texts can provide agency for children to communicate understanding in different ways
Incorporating holistic multimodal assessment practices Portfolios can be strengthened through the use of DVDs and the use of multimodal texts When used in ways that empower children to show their understanding digital technologies can contribute to strengthening collaborative assessment partnerships
Key terms Collaborative partnership – a partnership between the education community (schools and prior-to-school settings), families, children and/or the wider community that aims to improve children’s learning Electronic whiteboard – sometimes called interactive whiteboards; they are used widely in education, and there are a range of types that have different functionalities (for example, Smartboard, Starboard and Active board) Foundation year – a child’s first year of school in Australia Supported playgroup – a playgroup that is facilitated by a playgroup coordinator; the coordinator supports families through planning play experiences aimed at encouraging participation for children and their families/carers