Are we identifying and assessing the right outcomes for the 21st century?

I attended the Pearsons Global Research Conference  in Perth last month, which brought together educators from around the globe to discuss the role of technology and assessment in system wide improvement. In the past we have viewed assessment as a tool but there is a shift in viewing assessment as a tool for learning at system, school and student level.  A 21st century curriculum requires a 21st century approach to assessment, that is, assessment that provides insight not only into student learning but informs teacher instruction.

In his paper ‘Choosing the wrong drivers for whole system reform‘,  Michael Fullan states that critical thinking and reasoning, problem solving, collaboration, communication, digital base learning and citizenship will become the ‘new average’ for the rest of the century.  The challenge for us is not only how we design assessments that enable students to apply and -reapply ‘the new average’ to tasks in order to understand…

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