In this essay, I would like to talk about "Assessment" of the Secondary 1 to 3 curriculum. Assessment is the practice of collecting evidence of progress in students" learning. It is an integral part of the learning and teaching cycle. Assessment provides information for both teachers and students on the processes of and the improvement in learning and teaching. .
In addition to summative assessment such as tests, end-of-term examinations and public examinations, formative assessment needs to be introduced to serve as a diagnostic tool to provide feedback to help improving students" learning. .
Most traditional science tests generally are not consistent with changes in current science education goals and curriculum content. There have also been changes in the nature of science teaching methods and strategies that are difficult to assess traditionally. Finally, there are additional concerns about measuring students" science understandings and capabilities when using traditional testing.
Summative assessment can be viewed as an assessment of learning. It provides information about what students have learned at the end of a term or a unit. Tests and examinations in schools and public examinations are common examples of summative assessment, measuring students" standards or attainments, reporting them in terms of marks or grades. Summative assessment, however, has its own limitations e.g. it cannot provide immediate feedback on how to improve learning and teaching, and therefore it should not be used as the only means of assessment. Therefore, formative assessment is proposed in the new curriculum.
Formative assessment is an essential part of effective instruction. It provides immediate individual feedback that is used to guide the learner in completing the task at hand. .
Formative assessment could be carried out on a continuous basis using different methods such as oral questioning, observation of students" performance, assignments, project work, practical tests and written tests.