Empowering the Child Through Self-Evaluation

Achieving an effective and meaningful balance between independence and academic rigour is a delicate task, especially in the Upper Elementary years. The child’s independent interests and ideas are to be respected and nurtured, and simultaneously and seamlessly interwoven with increasingly complex, cross-curricular content and lessons. The key in finding and maintaining this balance lies in empowering the children, and giving them the tools to learn, build upon, and improve their own knowledge and work. 

The Upper Elementary West students have been making cross-curricular links and completing follow-up work for Culture lessons in the form of posters, pamphlets, pop-up booklets, plays and presentations. They are given autonomy in their method of working, as well as in the content of their projects: students can choose to work either individually or collaborate in small groups, and each project has a robust combination of required and optional elements that  students can include or represent in their final products.

Early projects in the term were evaluated against a specifically designed rubric, which enabled the child to continually self-assess in the process of completing a project. Teachers and students then reviewed the completed work together, and students learned to contribute feedback in a positive, critical style that enabled them to note what they did well, and what their next steps could be.  This type of feedback has been proven to be highly effective, as the student’s active involvement in every step of the assessment process allows for self-direction, self-discipline and self-motivation within – and beyond – the requirements of the curriculum.     

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