Evidence of Learning should be on the child
As I near the end of my university course I cant help but reflect on how we measure success. In order to achieve my degree I have to complete a set of assignments and pass them to a certain standard. The assignments are, in general, to produce an essay which meets the required marking criteria. So far I’ve managed this with varying success. My ability to interpret the question and provide a sufficiently eloquent and research based essay in a certain number of words is what determines my mark. My essay skills however (as you’ll know if you’ve stuck with reading this post thus far) are not that great. I’m not eloquent, I’ll use 20 words when 2 would be perfectly sufficient. I’m better at explaining verbally. The subjective nature of reading and marking an essay is also a factor and my interpretation of what the essay should be about may not be quite what the marker was looking for. So, reflecting back, my success in achieving the degree (and my fingers are crossed here) will really not reflect the significant learning I have achieved rather my ability to produce assignments which match the markers needs.
Over the last few months I have been visited by the Care Inspectorate in both of the settings I manage. The reports we have received have been very positive and our practice rated overall as very good with some aspects considered excellent. I doubt that many people working in early years do so to please the Care Inspectorate (at least I hope not) but, in many ways, for me, this affirmation of our practice is more important to me than the academic qualification I hope to gain. For me it means that the learning I have achieved is not an essay written on paper it has been transferred to practice which is making a difference. At playgroup I have a picture on the wall of one of our children who was experimenting with pens and had drawn all over her hands and face. It is captioned with the phrase “Evidence of learning should be on the child and not a worksheet”. I cant help but feel that that applies to my learning too. It doesn’t really matter what result I get in my degree or even what the Care Inspector sees on her visit. The impact of my learning too will be, hopefully, on the children.