SI 643 week 4 Reflection of Reading

05 Feb

In How People Learn, authors talk about how teachers design the learning environment (chapter 6). There are four perspectives that teachers can apply to their class;  learner-centered, knowledge-centered, assessment-centered, and community-centered environments. Based on the teacher’s goals and topic, teachers are more likely to choose one over the others, but all other perspectives are needed to be considered simultaneously. In particular, the development of students’ self assessment ability should be also a big consideration to teachers because students’ information literacy will be effectively and continuously improved “when students are able to judge the quality of what they are producing and are able to regulate what they are doing during the doing of it.” (Sadler, 1989, p.121)

Education environment of Korea which I was born and raised is designed by a knowledge-centered perspective. And students’ information literacy is mainly measured by summative assessment, such as teacher-made tests given at the end of a unit of study and state and national achievement tests. However, according to Sadler, formative assessment is also fundamental part of education. His article gave me some useful ideas on how to develop formative assessment. For example, the combination of verbal descriptions and associated examples provide a practical and efficient means of externalizing a reference level; peer-review is one of good methods that students themselves can select from a pool of appropriate moves or strategies to bring their own performances closer to the goal.

But I also found out that creating formative assessment-centered environment is not a easy task to teachers in U.S either. I interviewed several teachers of English composition class for my project, and learned that they were struggling with students’ indifference about peer-review because students were not interested in peer-reviewing in the class or they did not know how to do it. How we promote students’ interest about self-assessment seems worth more exploration.


Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Uncategorized


5 responses to “SI 643 week 4 Reflection of Reading

  1. lucymwines

    February 7, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Creating formative assessment situations in schools is always hard, at least from a student’s perspective (I must admit, I’ve never been a teacher). For me, the problem is more that the teachers didn’t start using peer-review until high school, when really we’d been writing papers since at least fourth or fifth grade, and then they assumed we’d been peer-reviewing beforehand, so they never went into any of the details that can help to make students interested (namely, why and how).

    When peer-reviewing begins this late, it seems to me the only way to really ensure a student’s interest in reviewing is to, unfortunately, make it an assignment since all students want to pass their classes. But then, any of the actual teachers in our cohort can feel free to provide other suggestions, since they’ve had actual experience!

  2. kirstenterry

    February 8, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Jungwon, I agree with your post and Lucy’s comment – I think setting up a peer review program can be a challenge. I like the idea of starting earlier and instilling in students the value that their peers can provide to them. But I also wonder if students are mature enough at that age to give each other appropriate, thoughtful feedback. I’ve found peer reviewing to be most useful here in grad school, where fellow students have similar motivation levels and can draw on their diverse work and educational backgrounds and life experiences to offer insightful comments.

  3. Kristin

    February 8, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    You make a great point about how we motivate the less-than-motivated. This is definitely a challenge. My informal hunch is that the current education system blames the teacher if the kid’s scores are not high enough. So a student learns that even if they don’t hustle, someone will make it all turn out OK. ??

  4. leahthelibrarian

    February 10, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I must say, I never had any real peer-review until I got to college, which is definitely too late. I think teachers could make it a much more motivating exercise if they started the process earlier AND gave real instruction and examples on how to do it. There are also different ways of peer-reviewing besides just reading each others’ papers and leaving comments. I find it’s much easier in groups of three or four.
    Thanks for the post, it’s really thought-provoking!

  5. halleyt

    February 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    During my brief tenure as a sophomore/English teacher, I did attempt a peer-reviewing session. The sophomores were working on short personal stories. The peer-review was an assignment, and the students knew they would be getting a grade. However, they knew their grade would be based not on how “correct,” the review was, but on how thoughtful and based on their efforts. They had a handout which guided them in what to look for, and I also briefly discussed what to look for, and was available for assistance.Even thought it was an assignment and easy to pass, I still had students trying to sleep or just talk to their friends. At this point to motivate them I gave them an option: either really attempt the assignment, or we could sit in silence and they could edit their own papers. Anyone that so much as uttered a word would get written up. While I wish I did not have to be so drastic and strict, it was necessary in this instance. For me, the best way to do peer-review ended up giving them a set amount of time, such as 10 minutes, and specific things to look for, like good/bad uses of similes and metaphors, and then to come back as an entire class and share what we found.


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