Everywhere I went in Canada, teachers and students were talking about assessment. And they were getting excited about it. A few of the schools I visited were piloting new ways of assessing students, but before I tell you about these exciting projects, I'll explain how it works at the moment so you have a frame of reference.
Students in Canadian schools currently get a grade for each subject they take. These grades are assigned by the teacher, and are reached by weighting and combining marks from assignments and tests throughout the course. As a result, most assignments students do are for a mark.
Finland and Canada are the only two Western countries that score significantly above the UK in all three PISA tests (reading, Maths and Science) while at the same time having a more equitable education system than the UK. Several East Asian countries achieve this feat too, but the cultural differences between these countries and the UK are greater than between Finland and the UK, or Canada and the UK. It is therefore worth asking what Finland and Canada do to achieve this combination of high performance and equitability, and in particular whether they have any policies in common.
Lucy Crehan - a teacher and education explorer.