Supporting Learning

"We must constantly remind ourselves that the ultimate purpose of evaluation is to have students become self evaluating. If students graduate from our schools still dependent upon others to tell them when they are adequate, good, or excellent, then we’ve missed the whole point of what education is about." 

Costa and Kallick (1992, p.280)

The BC Performance Standards can contribute to a comprehensive assessment and evaluation system.

Teachers use a variety of methods to gather the information they need to assess, evaluate, and report on student learning. Possible methods include classroom and standardized tests, observations, student work portfolios, conferences, self and peer assessment, and performance tasks.

The BC Performance Standards give teachers a way to assess students’ abilities to apply their learning in realistic performance tasks in the areas of reading, writing, numeracy, social responsibility, and information and communications technology integration. Used with other methods, they can be an important part of a comprehensive assessment and evaluation system. The standards:

  • should be used within the context of ongoing classroom instruction. They are meant to be curriculum-embedded—used as part of regular classroom learning activities.
  • provide resources for assessing and evaluating the quality of a specific piece or a collection of student work from various subject areas. They can help to develop a profile of student achievement, typically based on three to seven pieces of work.
  • assume that in most cases teachers are observing students as they work. Often, some of the evidence needed to make decisions about a student’s work comes from observations and conversations with students.
  • allow for teachers to intervene where students are unable to complete a task independently. The level of assistance required is often one of the criteria for determining whether or not a student’s work falls within grade-level expectations.
  • may be adapted as needed. This might mean creating scales for grades not included in the standards, developing IEPs or other tailored evaluation, or adjusting expectations for different times of the year.

The BC Performance Standards can be used to help plan instruction.

The BC Performance Standards are intended to support instructional decision-making. Teachers may want to consider the following questions as they plan instruction:

  • How do these standards match my/our expectations for students at this level?
  • What kinds of instructional strategies and learning opportunities will help most students develop the skills they need to meet these expectations?
  • What additional support and interventions will be needed to help all students meet these expectations?
  • If there are some students for whom these expectations are not appropriate, what expectations should they meet?
  • What evidence do I/we need to collect to find out if students are making progress towards the expectations