Thursday, May 28, 2009

Assurance and why assessment is a bad word

Are we still focused on the assessment of reading age and other quantitative measures in New Zealand? Here is an explanation of what the “six year net” does. For those overseas the six year net looks at reading for six year olds and traditionally provided an opportunity for those struggling to enter a reading recovery programme. This is still the case today. From ministry sources

"What is the 6-year old net?
 The 6-year old net is a literacy test carried out with each student when they turn six years old. It measures a student's knowledge and understanding of letter identification, how much they know about how books, text and pictures work, basic word recognition and how many words the students can write in 10 minutes dictation."

We do need to assess how students are going in literacy and numeracy to understand where they are at and to attempt to place the learner in a place where they can read to learn rather than learn to read.This also provides some meaningful data and attempts to identify students who may struggle to have the literacy skills to personalise their learning.

These assessments are what we know how to do are they not.


I wonder if these will help achieve learning needs?

What are they?  the national academy of engineering even see to “advance personalised learning” in the top 14 challenges of the 21st Century

  • Make solar energy affordable.
  • Provide energy from fusion.
  • Develop carbon sequestration methods.
  • Manage the nitrogen cycle.
  • Provide access to clean water.
  • Restore and improve urban infrastructure.  
  • Advance health informatics.
  • Engineer better medicines.
  • Reverse-engineer the brain.
  • Prevent nuclear terror.
  • Secure cyberspace.
  • Enhance virtual reality.
  • Advance personalized learning.
  • Engineer the tools for scientific discovery.

I wonder if existing assessments will assist our aspirations for personalising learning?

could we have

My life education net ????

It measures the students understanding of how contribute positively to their immediate family, friends and the wider community.

It measures the students keep themselves healthy and assist in the well being of those around them.

It looks at how many practical things the student can do and how their skills are helping to make the planet sustainable.


Have had this post in draft for a while and with little else in the pipeline time to let it rip.


  1. Dave, what a cool clip, and what a challenge for educators, especially those of us who are secondary school teachers. This is real paradigm shift stuff, and where we need to be heading. Thank -you for sharing it with us

  2. Glad you liked it was abit all over the place as a post but times "they are a changing" We need to think fast and on our feet.