Brain-Friendly Assessments: What They Are and How to Use Them

Brain-Friendly Assessments: What They Are and How to Use Them

by David A. Sousa

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This research-based book explores critical factors to consider when designing and selecting assessment techniques to accurately gauge learning.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781941112380
Publisher: Learning Sciences International
Publication date: 03/08/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 923,718
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Dr. David A. Sousa is an international educational consultant and author of more than a dozen books that suggest ways that educators and parents can translate current brain research into strategies to improve learning. A member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, he has conducted workshops in hundreds of school districts on brain research, instructional skills, and science education at the pre-K-12 and university levels. He has made presentations to more than 200,000 educators at national conventions of educational organizations and to regional and local school districts across the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. Dr. Sousa has a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in science from Harvard University, and a doctorate from Rutgers University. His teaching experience covers all levels. He has taught senior high school science and has served as a K-12 director of science, a supervisor of instruction, and a district superintendent in New Jersey schools. He was an adjunct professor of education at Seton Hall University for 10 years and a visiting lecturer at Rutgers University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

About the Author ix

1 Introduction 1

What Is Brain-Friendly Assessment? 1

The Current Status of Tests and Assessments 2

Assessment and Testing Are Not the Same 2

Attitudes toward Testing 4

Teacher Attitudes 4

Parent Attitudes 5

Administrator Attitudes 6

Do High-Stakes Tests Improve Student Achievement? 7

Will Change Occur? 9

If We Are Stuck with It, Let's Improve It 9

Don't Forget the Serenity Prayer 10

How this Book Can Help 10

Chapter Contents 11

Note about Effect Size 11

2 Why, Who, and What We Assess 13

Major Purposes of Assessment 13

Student Growth 14

Teacher Effectiveness 15

Matching Instruction with Curriculum 16

School Climate and Dropouts 16

Matching Assessments to Student Abilities 18

Students with Special Needs 19

English Language Learners 20

What Should We Assess? 20

Memory Systems 21

Stages of Memory 21

Types of Memory 24

Beware the Working Memory Gambit 26

Criteria for Long-Term Storage 27

Bloom's Revised Taxonomy 29

Beyond Bloom's Taxonomy 30

Assessing for Achievement 31

Assessing for Performance 32

Assessing for Proficiency 32

The Influence of Mindsets 32

Types of Mindsets 33

Should We Assess Mindsets? 34

3 Designing and Using Preassessments and Formative Assessments 35

Types of Assessments 36

Preassessments 37

Formative Assessment 42

4 Designing and Using Summative Assessments 65

Types of Summative Assessments 66

Rubrics 68

Characteristics of Quality Summative Assessments 69

Grading and Summative Assessments 72

What Do Grades Accomplish? 76

Assessing English Language Learners (ELLS) 77

5 Considering When and Where to Assess 79

When We Assess Can Matter 79

Assessments during the Day 80

Assessments and High-Stakes Tests during the School Year 83

Assessments during the Summer 84

Where We Assess Can Matter 86

6 Putting it All Together 89

Making Brain-Friendly Assessments Possible 91

Assessing Students' Performance 91

Conclusion 97

Glossary 99

References 103

Index 109

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