EXAMINATIONS AND EVALUATIONS
Evaluation in Shikshantar is about understanding, enabling and recording the progress made by each child. It is about giving due importance to the processes of learning and the relationships that emerge from educational experiences – be it with books, friends, the content of what is studied, music, art, science, the teacher and the ability to question further.
Like the myriad influences of the school, evaluation at Shikshantar is also a source of inspiration and learning, and not a time for judgement and fear.
Evaluation practices in Shikshantar grow in complexity, thought and engagement of all key partners (the child, the teacher and the parents) with class and age levels. Evaluation involves six key steps. At each step, students, teachers and parents share the progress made and work as partners to develop goals for the next semester.
The six key steps are illustrated in the chart below:
SHIKSHANTAR EVALUATION PROCESSES CHART
Teachers’ observations are critical in every classroom setting, at every age level. Teachers observe children’s interest areas, group participation, interpersonal dynamics, development of skills, completion of work, regularity in submissions, and desire for continued learning. These observations inform curricular transactions and help formulate evolving goals for the group and each child.
Project Work is central to the experiential curriculum facilitated in Shikshantar. Project work is about asking questions, finding answers, making connections, data organisation, thinking open-endedly and drawing inferences. Teachers enable these processes and use these as tools to assess children’s engagement and knowledge development.
Assessments of worksheets, class and home assignments
Formal skills development is just as necessary for academic progress as it is to engage with educational experiences unfettered. Shikshantar works to strike a thoughtful balance between enabling education with its true meaning of enquiry and discovery with abilities to read, write, calculate, create, record, analyse and organise.
As worksheets, class and home assignments mature, children’s abilities to engage with gradually emerging skill sets also become more sophisticated. Teachers’ assessments of informal and formal work guide students to determine their own readiness with greater ease and sense of organisation.
Students’ reflections with teachers’ and parent guidance: From Class IV onwards Shikshantar facilitates students to reflect upon and record individual strengths, and what works in what situations and why. It helps young people develop their own methods to organise their priorities, time and study methods. Reflections when shared without fear of judgement with parents and teachers allow children to chart their own directions for further development and self-growth.
Unit, Term and Final Assessments are the tools used from Classes VI to XII with increasing complexity to guide young people to know their own yardsticks better and to measure their progress in the context of larger social groups. Term and final assessments provide new challenges that Shikshantar children are confident to work with. Practice, research, articulation and accuracy are important attributes for academic training in senior classes. Opportunities are provided for students to orient themselves to national and international level competitive examinations. Students are guided to determine individual levels of mastery and potential for growth.
By this age, each student is broadly aware of developed and emerging interests, and is ready to engage with the future with the ability to reflect, prepare, excel and develop goals that are truly theirs to nurture in adult life.