Parent Teacher Conferences.
Deliberating creating a professional, purposeful and positive climate for learning.
Around 16 years ago, in a conference held at King’s College University London, a young man wearing a hooped earring stepped onto the stage and entertained the audience by talking about a black box.
He described carefully his many years of collaborative research involving hundreds of students and teachers and his methodology in collecting thousands of pieces of data.
As a young science teacher, I was interested in how data sets are generated, and still am, but his lecture shaped my thinking around assessment and more significantly, the targeted use of data to inform teaching and learning.
The speaker’s name was Dylan William and the lecture was titled ‘Inside the black box’. Along with his co-researcher, Dr Paul Black, the foundations for assessment for learning began to ring home for thousands of teachers across the country and consequently, the paradigm of our everyday pedagogy shifted.
Fast forward to 29th January 2018, Pune and the tenets of assessment for learning are evident through our Parent-Teacher conference for all MYP students. The belief that the right conversation is not just about the grades, it’s what you do with them, can be heard loud and clear as our MBIS students become increasingly skilled in articulating dialogue about how their formative and summative grades translate into progress and responsibility for future learning.
As parents, you would have noticed deliberate logistical changes to the PTC this time. Along with a newly structured appointment booking system, students with parents and teachers filled the B-block classrooms to create a professional, purposeful and positive climate for learning.
As we strive to forever strengthen our approaches to learning, we shall continue to deliberately develop the power of student centered self-reflection, constructive feedforward and ipsative approaches to learning.
However there is no time for complacency – school improvement is never a finished article.
Secondary School Principal