Overview; Relationships For Learning; Being Clear About What Is To Be Learnt; Assessing For Learning; Promoting And Supporting Further Learning; Reflecting On Learning; Where To Go Next With Learning; Planning For Learning; Building Partnerships With Family
Michael Absolum is a principal consultant at Evaluation Associates in New Zealand, where he has directed their successful professional development programme for schools and teachers since 1995. Prior to that he worked as a teacher, as an educational psychologist in both England and NZ, and with the Education Review Office (the NZ equivalent of OFSTED), becoming interested in the problems associated with raising student achievement levels, particularly of underperforming students.
For educators in the UK in 2009, this book could not be more timely. Even in England, where the government has been clinging to external tests despite the mounting evidence of their long term failure to transform learning, the disasters of the SATs in 2008 has led to the start of their demise. Now teachers and schools can begin again to focus on what matters in the classroom. Two key messages are central to Michael Absolum's book: the first is suggested in the title, Clarity in the Classroom, as teachers spell out for their students the expectations and criteria for successful achievement. The second message, a pre-condition for the first, is the primacy of relationships. Students need the will as well as the skill to improve their work: the relationships between teacher and students, and among the students themselves, are at the heart of students' necessary belief in their capacity to learn. The content is pertinent, clear and well-argued [and] 'Try This' sections encourage teachers to take the practical steps they will need if habits are to change and be sustained. At the back of the book are some 'masters' for teachers to copy and use immediately. This is a book for practitioners, based on sound research and its feet firmly planted in real classrooms. -- Ruth Sutton, assessment consultant 20090201