Você está na página 1de 6

Narrative Assessment Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti arahia ttou mhi Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work

(Ministry of Education, 2009) I first became aware of narrative assessment when working on my Domain 2 ASD goal to Develop an understanding and awareness of the tools and practices that may be used in the educational assessment of children with ASD. As this extract from my reflections indicated I was very motivated by what I read: I discovered Narrative Assessment for Special Needs Children and the TKI website for Assessment tools for Learners with Special Education Needs. After reviewing this information I was desperate to complete this assignment and explore these resources further. I feel I finally have some direction with my ASD children and their learning. However study marched on and sadly that venture was put on hold.

During the August Block Course I attended The Inside View workshop led by Anne-Marie Mcllroy and Annie Guerin. This rekindled my enthusiasm for the potential of narrative assessment for children with diverse learning needs in my own class. Key messages that I took away from this workshop were: The value of the narrative assessment for celebrating achievement and informing and setting goals at an IEP. Sending out narrative assessments to the childs team prior to the IEP The value of a narrative assessment when a child is transitioning to another class

Narrative assessments can be contributed to by specialists working with the ch ild, peers, TAs, family and whnau and the child themselves A powerful link is created between home and school It recognises the child as a learner focusing on what they can do rather than what they cannot do. Most teachers who have used narrative assessments are relieved to finally have something they can make use of.

Upon returning to the classroom the following Monday I began a narrative assessment which, with permission from the family, I have shared as Artefact 3 for this goal. All names have been changed and faces have been disguised. The remainder of this article looks at the process, theory, evidence and background of Narrative Assessment and its relevance to an NZ setting.

Summary of Narrative Assessment Narrative Assessment combines strings of learning stories to document a childs learning and plan future learning pathways. It is contributed to by teachers, TAs, peers, specialists working with the child, the family and whnau and the child themselves. The stories illustrate achievements within the New Zealand Curriculum key competencies as well as specific learning areas and the appropriateness of different teaching pedagogies. A narrative assessment consists of: 1. Student background 2. 1 of more learning stories called a string 3. Following each story there is an analysis of what learning was occurring which focuses on: Key competencies Learning areas Where to next?

4. Reflection on teacher practice and effective pedagogy 5. Reflective questions or comments

The purpose of narrative assessment is to support teachers to notice, recognise, respond to, document and report learning of students in a positive, meaningful way that is accessible to families and other teachers Narrative assessment provides for: Recounts of the individuals learning in school and beyond A personal perspective A respect for the individual as a learner A time bound record of how learning develops Reflection of the values, culture and learning methods of the family and whnau

Exemplars In 2007 the Narrative Assessment and New Zealand Curriculum Exemplars for Learners with Special Needs began work on compiling exemplars of narrative assessment from mainstream primary and secondary schools, special schools and special units , looking at students who were working long term in level 1 of the NZ curriculum (NZC). This was a collaborative project between Education Plus, University of Canterbury and Ministry of Education , working across multiple education sectors and learning areas. The exemplars were evaluated in 2008 and professional development to support teachers use of the exemplars began in 2009. The development of the exemplars used an iterative and reflective approach base on the key principles relating to assessment for learning.

There are currently 50 exemplars available online at http://www.throughdifferenteyes.org.nz/ An exemplar wheel assists in the selection of an appropriate exemplar to match specific key competencies, learning areas and pedagogies. The wheel below shows the pathway used for the narrative assessment example in artefact 3.

The exemplar found to be most useful from this search was Caleb Uses Numbers. Click on the image below to view this exemplar.

Strengths of narrative assessment It challenges traditional forms of assessment It involves a transdisciplinary team It facilitates inclusion through a strengths based perspective It focuses on relationships using a holistic, honest approach It affords the individual an identity Learning stories look forwards as well a back, opening up new learning pathways It considers the individual as a capable, competent, able, included and valued member of the class, family and community It closes the gap between the learner and the teacher It acknowledges the non-uniform nature of the teaching and learning process It alters the teachers way of seeing the student, family, curriculum, assessment and themselves

Limitations of narrative assessment Gathering information and writing the learning stories is time consuming It is not possible to document every bit of learning evidence Ensuring that everyone in the team has input into the stories

New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) One of the elements in the NZC vision is for all students to be confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners. Narrative assessment provides a vehicle by which individuals with disabilities can achieve this. Narrative assessment aligns with the principles and values of the NZC, supporting inclusion through a focus on strengths within the key competencies, across different learning areas and through the use of an effective, culturally responsive pedagogy. Principle of Inclusion: The curriculum is non-sexist, non-racist, and non-discriminatory; it ensures that students identities, languages, abilities, and talents are recognised and affirmed and that their learning needs are addressed. Principle of Coherence: The curriculum offers all students a broad education that makes links within and across learning areas, provides for coherent transitions, and opens up pathways to further learning. (Ministry of Education, 2007, p.9) The focus on Key Competencies allows all children to fit within the curriculum, making their learning visible. Theoretical Perspective Narrative assessments draws from a number of theories including a Vygotsky social constructivist approach, and situated and activity learning theories. These focus on making sense of an individuals disability and using assessment to enhance their learning. They move away from normative, criteria referenced, standard based assessments , in which individuals with special needs are often labelled as abnormal with a focus on deficits. Instead a holistic, interpretive, reflective approach of narrative assessment is applied resulting in a strengths based, student-referenced assessment. The work of Margaret Carr (2006) and the application of her ABCD four-track framework has been influential in informing practice around the key competencies and the development of the exemplars for narrative assessment. The four components of the framework are: A agency or mindfulness: making learning relevant to the individual and giving the learner a voice B breadth: connections being made beyond just the classroom setting to the home and the wider community C continuity or frequency: opportunities for the individual to practice the competency regularly D depth or complexity: inclusion of different people, resources and ways of representing meaning Conclusion The name of the TKI narrative assessment online page, Through Different Eyes reflects the

changes in perspectives that narrative assessment and learning stories have brought about in the way that peers, teachers, TAs, specialist teachers, family and whnau and the wider community are able to recognise, value and respect the learning of individuals with disabilities. Narrative assessment has opened a door to new learning pathways and assessment pedagogy that has been gratefully received and implemented by teachers across New Zealand. This is supported by the following quote from a teacher new to learning stories. When you look closely at the student interrelating with peers and the environment, you are better able to focus on the small steps within the big picture (Ministry of Education, 2009, p.30)

References Carr, M. (2006). Dimensions of Strengths for Key Competencies. Early Childhood Exemplar Project. Ministry of Education. (2007). The New Zealand Curriculum. Wellington: Learning Media. Ministry of Education. (2009). Narrative Assessment: A guide for teachers. Wellington: Learning Media. Ministry of Education. (n.d.). Assessment for Learners with Special Education Needs . Retrieved September 2013, from Through Different Eyes: http://www.throughdifferenteyes.org.nz/ Ministry of Education. (n.d.). Caleb Uses Numbers. Retrieved September 2013, from Through Different Eyes: Caleb uses numbers