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Measuring up: assessing citizenship

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1 Measuring up: assessing citizenship
This PowerPoint training package has been developed by the DfES’s National CPD Team. It is based on experience in training in this area and on the best of the available literature on the subject, including the latest guidance from QCA and Ofsted at the time of publication (see date in bottom r.h. corner of each slide). The Package is intended to be of practical help to teachers and trainers in carrying out the task of assessing student’s work in citizenship. There is little that is brand new here or that some teachers in other subjects are not already familiar with, citizenship has a particular profile and some assessment instruments are more appropriate than others. Whilst attempting to providing help and guidance, this presentation should not in any way be taken as a statement of official policy on citizenship. Comments and corrections should be directed to Don Rowe, coordinator, Citizenship CPD Team, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NA. This presentation may be updated from time to time. New editions will be available on either the DfES or the ACT website. National strategy for CPD in Citizenship

2 Aims To clarify some of the issues around assessment
To look at different methods of assessment To look at the nature of progression in citizenship This PowerPoint presentation is designed to be used in at least two ways. Firstly, it can be used by trainers (including subject coordinators) for the consolidation of their own learning about assessment, as currently being debated in citizenship circles. Secondly, it is designed for use with colleagues in a variety of settings and with different training needs. In this context, we think it unlikely that you will wish to show it all the way through, at least in one sitting. It is important that you, the user, go through the slide show carefully, with the notes, and select the most appropriate sections accordingly. As a general rule of thumb, 5 or 6 slides are probably sufficient at any one time, especially if a lot of information is carried with them, but obviously this is a professional judgement which need s to be made in context. There is no copyright restriction on this PowerPoint, and trainers are welcome to use it as it stands or adapt it. However, it should not be used in ways which would give the impression that views contrary to those expressed here have emanated from the National CPD Strategy team. We recognise that some aspects of assessment are subject to differences of professional opinion – trainers using this material are encouraged to make any such differences clear should they arise. Note also that the amount of coverage given to different aspects of assessment in this PowerPoint does not necessarily reflect the importance of these topics, but rather reflects the need to clarify points about which debates are still on-going. This is particularly true of the nature and use of self-assessment in which there is a lot of interest at the moment for a number of reasons. Many teachers are using self-assessment by students in summative, end-of-unit, contexts. These teachers should be aware of the limitations of these techniques according to experts who developed them which is why a slightly disproportionate amount of space (as some would see it) is devoted to this issue. June 2004

3 Assessment, recording and reporting
Schools should record students’ progress throughout KS3 and 4, including KS3 assessment There must be annual reports to parents at the end of years 7-11 Teacher assessment is statutory at the end of KS3, against the KS3 AT Results of teachers’ assessment do not have to be included in reports to parents but can be. The arrangements for assessing, recording and reporting citizenship are summarised in the QCA document ‘Citizenship at key stages 1-4: guidance on assessment, recording and reporting’. KS3 Schools must keep records of students’ progress and achievement in citizenship, including the results of their end of key stage 3 assessments, which should be made against the end of KS3 description. Citizenship must be included as a subject in annual reports to parents for years 7-11. Results of teacher assessment do not have to be included in reports to parents but can be, if schools wish. Notice that the attainment target includes skills as well as knowledge and understanding. There is no 8 point scale of levels in citizenship. QCA suggests three categories to describe attainment, namely, working towards, working at, or working beyond the end of key stage description. Schools can use other descriptions if they wish. The level is judged to be comparable with level 5/6 in other subjects. Schools do not have to submit summary assessment data for citizenship to the Data Collection Agency (DCA). KS4 There is no statutory requirement for teacher assessment at KS4 for citizenship or any other subject at KS4. Nonetheless, written annual reports to parents are required in years 10 and 11 and must provide information on pupil progress and achievement in citizenship. An end of key stage description for key stage 4 provides a single attainment target against which to judge pupil progress. June 2004

4 Why is assessment challenging?
There are different aspects to assess: - knowledge and understanding - skills (enquiry, debate, participation) - written and oral work - citizenship in different contexts (discrete lessons or in other subjects and contexts) - ‘active’ citizenship (in school or wider community) Ofsted noted in 2004 that ‘assessment is currently a weak aspect of citizenship and few schools have progressed very far with it’. The implications of this are that a certain amount of experimentation with different methods of assessment will be seen as contributing to the development of good practice. Note that the areas indicated in the slide cover the range of knowledge and skills in the programmes of study for both key stages and include the contexts or ways in which attitudes of social responsibility may be demonstrated. These are all alluded to directly or indirectly in the end of Key Stage Attainment Targets (see next slide). June 2004

5 Bringing it together Some schools have found it useful to develop a matrix covering the range of knowledge and skills in the Attainment Target, with grading scales: ‘This student: - shows understanding of course content - can argue a case in writing - can argue a case orally (plenary/small group) - demonstrates research skills - demonstrates skills of participation - demonstrates responsibility in school/community matters ‘ Criteria of this kind can be rated on a 3- or even a five-point scale. For example: 1 beginning to show progress 2 working towards the level 3 working at the level 4 working beyond the level 5 working well beyond the level Students’ work in citizenship must be commensurate with work in other NC subjects. This has clear implications as to the amount of time devoted to citizenship on the timetable. It will not be possible to achieve this standard if, e.g., there is no core citizenship curriculum (i.e. citizenship is entirely devolved to other subjects), or if the dominant mode of delivery is suspended timetable days where there is no opportunity for consolidation or progression. June 2004

6 Before you begin Identify where citizenship is being taught substantially not tangentially (either in a core programme or in other subjects or contexts) Be selective (identify e.g. 1 or 2 pieces of written course work, 1 or 2 oral tasks and some group work in each year) For citizenship to be assessed it must be visible (to students as well as staff) and taught as citizenship, whether in discrete CPSHE modules, in separate citizenship lessons, or in other subjects and contexts (an example of such a ‘context’ would be work experience). Where citizenship is being taught through other subjects, lessons must aim to materially develop students’ understanding of the core citizenship concepts (e.g. citizens’ rights and responsibilities) or add significantly to students’ understanding of a contemporary citizenship issue. They must do more than merely draw on existing citizenship knowledge e.g. as a geography lesson might in tangentially referring to conservation or planning law. A good example of explicit cross-curricular work can be seen on the Ofsted training video, ‘Evaluating Secondary Citizenship’ where a science teacher moves from work on the function of the kidney to the first of a series of lessons on ethical scientific issues relating to citizenship. In the lesson shown pupils discuss the current problem of shortage of organs for transplant and the function of kidney donor cards, raising the contemporary debate about whether the state should require citizens to opt out of the donation scheme rather than opting into it. A good reference point from which to begin mapping cross-curricular links is the list of core citizenship concepts, including rights, responsibilities, justice, law, power, community, diversity, equality. These are set out usefully in the Crick report, page 45 and although they are not in the statutory programmes of study, they remain an invaluable aid to curriculum planning throughout all the key stages. Ofsted has reminded schools (‘Citizenship in Secondary Schools’, Feb 2004, pp 5/6) that the skills (e.g. of enquiry and communication) will only be regarded as citizenship skills when exercised in the context of citizenship issues. For example, it will not be enough for schools to develop students’ general discussion skills in English and claim this is citizenship unless the focus of the discussion is a topical political, spiritual, moral, social or cultural issue. This is because citizenship issues have distinctive forms of language and thought which are intrinsic to the subject and which can only be learned in the appropriate context. Similarly, involvement in sport will not be regarded as developing citizenship skills of participation. It is important to plan for assessment over the course of a year, identifying where it will take place, how often, what will be assessed, how and by whom. A spread across the different aspects of citizenship should be developed. Where citizenship work is assessed in the context of another subject, the other subject teacher is responsible for assessment (preferably with guidance from the citizenship teacher). It is not compulsory for all this assessment data to be centrally collated. QCA has pointed out that assessment in citizenship should be ‘manageable’ (Guidance on Assessment, recording and Reporting, 2002, p12). It would be ironic if citizenship generated the greatest bureaucracy over its assessment procedures. June 2004

7 Two Types of assessment
Assessment of Learning (end of unit, summative) Assessment for Learning (formative, using evidence of achievement to inform next steps) This presentation focuses on the distinction between summative and formative assessment because of the increased interest in formative assessment, especially in respect of its advantages within citizenship work. Summative assessment is far more familiar to teachers from experience in other subject areas. Experience of summative assessment in other lessons should be drawn upon in the development of assessment measures for citizenship. Less familiar, but in some ways, more educationally useful, are formative techniques, e.g., as developed by the Assessment for Learning movement. There have recently been very significant developments in the literature on positive uses of formative assessment, which have been shown to benefit students right across the ability spectrum. These can shift practice away from often time-consuming and unproductive marking that teachers are so familiar with. These techniques can also shift the competitive atmosphere of the classroom towards one of cooperation and collaboration and so are very much in the spirit of citizenship. A highly recommended and practical book on this subject is ‘Assessment for Learning: putting it into practice’ by Paul Black, C. Harrison, C. Lee, B. Marshall and D. Wiliam. pub by Open University Press For an earlier and more academic discussion of the issues involved, a downloadable version of ‘Inside the Black Box: raising standards through classroom assessment’ can be found at June 2004

8 Assessment of learning
This is the more familiar form of assessment e.g. end of unit tests, exams, coursework and so on Different techniques can be used to assess students’ progress in the different strands of citizenship - knowledge and understanding - ability to analyse information and express an opinion, orally or in writing - skills of participation and responsible action Summative assessment procedures are already familiar to teachers through the experience of assessment in other subjects. Techniques such as multiple choice questions, analytical or persuasive writing, analysing a photograph or interpreting a news headline and can all be used to explore different aspects of student learning. Teacher observations can be used to assess students’ competencies in oral and, to a degree, in group work, supplemented appropriately by students’ own observations and comments. It is recommended by QCA that summative assessment procedures should be ‘manageable’. Different assessment opportunities during the course of the year could be identified to assess different elements of student learning e.g. factual/conceptual knowledge, skills of argumentation etc. Note that Citizenship must include written work which is a specific requirement of the programme of study. Requirement 2b states that ‘pupils should be taught to justify orally and in writing’ a personal opinion about issues studied in Citizenship. In some cases, where existing PSHE courses are incorporating citizenship elements, this may represent a departure from a well established practice of largely oral-based working. But it is worth emphasising that written work, besides being used as evidence for assessment, does give students important literacy skills they need as citizens e.g. to read public information or to write letters for advice or complaint. Skills of analysis could be tested by, e.g., asking students to comment on a photograph taken from a newspaper or filling in the background to a newspaper headline. Such exercises can be effective in assessing how complex students perceive a social issue to be. Oral work is probably most effectively assessed by teacher observation possibly against a checklist such as: - X speaks confidently in plenary sessions - X speaks more confidently in small groups - X responds appropriately to views of others - X often provides an original contribution to class discussion Note that the findings of several research studies show that students tend to benefit from positive rather than negative marking. Avoidance of grades, and use of positive comments aimed at helping students to improve their work, has been shown to benefit students of all abilities, but especially the less able (see Black et al for more). June 2004

9 Assessment for learning
Gives students opportunities to review their own work and re-work at that time Uses techniques based on - self assessment - peer assessment - using summative techniques for formative purposes Self-assessment works best when the amount of material being assessed is manageable, when the objectives of the work are clear to students and where they can relatively easily identify ways in which the work under scrutiny can be improved. Self-assessment of this kind is difficult to do at the end of a course where it is hard to recall and list everything one has learnt and the aims are too many and complex. Students’ statements about their learning at the end of a course are more like a response to the overall course content and a personal statement about which parts of a course were of interest or significance to the student. These, of course, are very useful for course evaluation but not so much for assessing the depth of a student’s learning. Black et al describe a range of formative assessment techniques including students reading and constructively criticising each others’ work. This can also enable them to become more aware of the contents of their own work. This stage could include class discussion of common misunderstandings etc. Time for re-drafting the original is essential to this process of self-directed improvement. For more on the use of summative techniques in formative assessment see slide 12. June 2004

10 Examples of self- and peer-assessment
Students assess, using ‘traffic lights’, whether they feel confident about the subject matter (red equals ‘not confident’ etc) Students at similar levels of confidence may critique each other’s work – the teacher selectively works with most needy groups Techniques such as the use of red, amber and green symbols can indicate broadly to the teacher whether students feel confident about having mastered a topic. This can help the teacher identify areas of weakness or group students according to confidence levels for peer-assessment work. Peer-assessment is very valuable in enabling students to become more objective about their own work. One major advantage of peer- and self-assessment are that all students can experience success in their own terms, as they re-draft and improve a piece of work. Research has shown regular self-assessment to be highly effective in raising standards. It may be more difficult to use such techniques where curriculum time is limited. June 2004

11 Peer-assessment With the support of the teacher, students read each other’s work. They help each other with obvious areas of weakness Peer-assessment improves students’ motivation to produce good work Research show that students take seriously comments from their peers This (and self-assessment) ensures time is spent on carefully considering draft work, which rarely happens when teacher-graded work is returned Peer-assessment can be applied to classwork, homework, written and oral work. It can assist the teacher by multiplying the numbers of markers in a class. Black et al point out that good peer-assessment is a very effective form of self-assessment because students are able to see weaknesses in their own work through reading other people’s work. Jerome et al (‘Citizenship Co-ordinators Handbook’, Nelson Thornes, 2003) offer pointers as to how students can be helped to couch their comments in constructive and positive language. Peer-assessment provides more time for the teacher to work with the most needy. It can also be done in groups (for example, students takes turns to justify the way they marked a piece of work). June 2004

12 Using summative assessment techniques for formative purposes
As a class, students discuss what would be the criteria by which a task should be judged Students practise marking a question using a given mark scheme Students develop ‘good questions’ on a topic as if they were examiners Summative assessment techniques can be effectively used for formative purposes. Students can be helped to become familiar with the way mark schemes are constructed by developing their own. Or the class together might generate key questions which they think would best test the core knowledge of a course. This enables students to become more aware of what makes a good piece of work. Formative use of summative techniques can also involve giving students practice in using a mark scheme to assess their own or others’ work. June 2004

13 Assessing citizenship in other subjects
Consider whether the cross-curricular work should be assessed by means of: a core assessment (led by citizenship teacher) portfolios or diaries students keeping their own personal records of active, participative work in school or the community the process should be ‘manageable’ (QCA) Citizenship should be an identifiable part of the curriculum as a core course (whether this is a discrete programme labelled citizenship, or part of a broader humanities or CPSHE1 framework), but may also be taught across a range of subjects. Many other subjects contribute quite naturally and in significant ways to citizenship learning, e.g., the use of social statistics in maths or the knowledge of environmental issues in geography. To make the assessment process less cumbersome, it is worth considering whether at least some cross-curricular learning might be incorporated into the end-of year core assessment tasks set by the citizenship teacher. This will minimise the bureaucracy and substantially cut down on the ‘paper chase’. With respect to assessing participation in citizenship activities, there may be no realistic alternative to the use of students’ own records in diaries or portfolios. With regard to what activities can be counted as citizenship activities, there has been some variation in practice but Ofsted has recently underlined that skills of participation and responsible action should be developed in the context of citizenship issues. This means that in a drama course, involvement in a school play will not necessarily count as a citizenship activity, unless there is a clear citizenship purpose to the activity such as countering racism. Note 1 We have used the acronym CPSHE out of many possible ones in use at the present time. By this we denote a course involving Citizenship and PSHE in some form of modular arrangement. June 2004

14 Skills of participation
Can be assessed in class through students discussing issues (school or wider community), developing proposals for change and demonstrating understanding of how to put them to those in power or authority (e.g. police, councillors, MPs) appropriate bodies (e.g. school or local youth council, NGOs) the local or national press With regard to skills of participation and responsible action, aspects of students’ ability to work in groups, take responsibility and contribute to shared outcomes could be assessed using a combination of student or group self-reporting and teacher assessment. Student involvement in active citizenship projects can also contribute towards an individual student’s assessment. However, it may not be possible for all students to take part in so-called ‘active’ or practical projects. In these cases, OFSTED (in Update 43) points out that the programme of study refers to developing skills of participation and responsible action and these can be evidenced in the classroom when students discuss a contemporary issue and develop suggestions or ideas for change (e.g. with regard to public policy) and demonstrate understanding of how to present such ideas to, e.g, politicians, local authority personnel, the police or the press. This does make it possible for assessment opportunities to be offered to all students in a year group. Note that schools can include activities in their statutory provision if these are available to all students. If an opportunity cannot be offered to all students, it may still count if equivalent opportunities can be offered to the others. For example, in one school a geography field trip which most students went on, was very effective in developing understanding of sustainable development issues. However, no equivalent opportunity was available for those who were unable to go on the field trip and therefore this element could not be included in the school’s entitlement curriculum for citizenship. Similarly, the school council will only be able to contribute to the school’s statutory programme of citizenship if all students are involved in its decision-making processes. Otherwise, this will remain enrichment and not entitlement. June 2004

15 Models of progression Models of progression are still, to some extent, under construction Some models look for demonstration of skills of analysis, logical argument, and so on (parallels with work in English or History) Some models draw on accumulation of knowledge Some models draw on psychological research into the development of social, moral and political reasoning These different models can be seen in evidence in current writing on progress in citizenship. For an approach based on the assessment of progress in skills of argument and logic, see QCA’s ncaction website where there are examples of a teacher assessing the writings about racism of two Y9 students, Annette and Lauren. Annette, working towards the level, shows a simple understanding of the nature of racism, draws simply on a range of examples of racism and offers some disjointed, and unelaborated arguments as to why it is wrong. On the other hand, Lauren, working beyond the level, has produced a well reasoned and persuasive piece of writing using a range of appropriate and quite complex examples. Note that in the teacher’s assessment there is no reference to these girls’ social or political knowledge. Knowledge accumulation models can be seen, for example, attached to the QCA Schemes of Work. In the case of the KS3 Crime unit, students working towards the level are described as having a simple awareness of the justice system, of knowing that in broad terms young people are dealt with differently from adults. Students working beyond the level will be developing a more complex knowledge of how the justice system works, the causes of juvenile offending and will confidently distinguish between criminal and non-criminal activities. Developmental models draw on the growing body of psychological research into the development of social, moral and political understanding during childhood. The evidence suggests that social issues are at first seen in concrete and personal terms, and that young people only develop an understanding of society as an inter-connecting system in mid-to late-adolescence. (Whether this can easily equate to key stage 4 for most young people remains unclear.) Similarly, rules and laws are initially understood as emanating from external authorities, as fixed and restrictive, necessitating punishment to ensure obedience. Only later do young people come to see them as underpinned by moral purposes, socially valuable and changeable. In terms of social and political knowledge, it is known that most children come to be able to recognise figures like the monarch, prime minister and police officers by key stage 2, though their understanding of their relative status in society is not based on reality at first. At key stage 3, students develop a more complex (but rather broad brush) understanding of the nature of government. Reasons for obeying the law tend to be given in terms of the effects of law-breaking on other people. Then at Key stage 4 many, if not most, students come to understand government to be part of a complex and inter-acting set of social structures and forces. Reasons they give for obeying the law, now include society’s need for stability and order. Two difficulties face this important developmental model of progress. Much of this research has not been done in Britain and, secondly, little work has been carried out in terms of students’ understanding of the current citizenship curriculum. Nor is it understood how the citizenship curriculum itself might influence overall levels of student’s social, moral and political reasoning. We should expect some upward shift in development as the impact of the citizenship curriculum becomes more apparent. Expect developments in this approach to assessing progress in citizenship over the course of the next few years. June 2004

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