How Meaningful Assessment Can Lead to Critical Thinking?

It has been some time now that the effectivity of the conventional method of assessment has been questioned. The one where all students are evaluated following the same structure and a comparison is drawn by assigning grades to the capability of performing the same task. But the 21st-century calls for an evolved form of assessment called meaningful assessment, the process where each student’s abilities are tested as per their individual capabilities and more parameters are taken into consideration to build 21st-century skills. Of these attributes that meaningful assessment considers, critical thinking is one element. The best CBSE schools in pune actually test students on their ability to think critically and work on this skill accordingly.

Now, the fact is well known that critical thinking is a necessary skill for students going forward. They must develop the aptitude of analysing a situation logically and rationally and then form a realistic judgement. But the question that needs addressing is how meaningful assessment can lead to critical thinking? How can the teachers use their effective feedback to build rational minds among the students? Good schools do this seemingly herculean task by focussing on the key aspects of critical thinking and then designing their assessments surrounding those parameters. 

The key subskills of critical thinking

Critical thinking is actually an umbrella term for five other skills. These combine together and form the critical mind, which ultimately becomes an asset to students while working towards personal and professional success. The following can be thought of as the key subskills of the broader vital skill called critical thinking.

1. Analytical consideration

2. Creativity

3. Proper communication

4. Problem-solving

5. Open-mindedness

As evident, the absence of even one of these subskills will make students think non-critically. Without analytics, they will become gullible. Without creativity, new ideas will never come up. The same can be said about the other three as well and thus, they must all exist in tandem to build the skill of critical thinking. By applying meaningful assessment, the best nursery school in pune starts nurturing the critical aptitude from the very beginning and teachers level up their involvement and feedback as students move forward through their grades.

Designing meaningful assessment around critical thinking

As commonly thought, assessment is never just about grading the students. It starts right from setting the exam papers and patterns and here lies the opportunity to start incorporating all the vital elements of building critical thinking.

Analytical thinking comes by making questions case-study based

Instead of asking students to write direct definitions from their textbooks in the exams, the questions can become case-study oriented where students are required to solve a real-life case by applying the theories they know. This will result in analytical thinking. Writing definitions involve recalling from memory that is hardly a necessary skill in the present age.

Creativity will come by providing freedom

In meaningful assessment, students have a specific degree of freedom of choosing how they want to be assessed. This will boost creativity when students are allowed to come up with their own ideas. Right from writing answers from their own understanding to selecting the topics of their projects on their own, creativity can come alive through meaningful assessment.

Collaboration happens with project-based learning

Projects happen in groups. The contribution of every member decides the overall grades that the group receives. Thus, whenever assessment happens through project-based exams, students are compelled to communicate and collaborate. Discussions, arguments, and debates lead to critical thinking. Students feel the need to work together to perform in the exam.

Open-mindedness receives attention from the teacher’s feedback

The teachers and their feedback play massive roles in fostering open-mindedness among students. The element of there is no one right way can only be inculcated by the teachers. After every exam or assessment, teachers need to sit with the students to make them understand what other approaches are possible and help them to see other alternate avenues.

Meaningful assessment itself is about problem-solving

Answering case-study based questions will involve problem-solving. Working in a group will involve problem-solving. Creativity comes to the forefront with the desire to solve a problem and the feedback from teachers leads to better problem-solving. This parameter can be thought of as the glue that ultimately leads to critical thinking. 

So, meaningful assessment is what the schools need

And that is exactly what you should look for when you list top schools in Wagholi to pick the best. The S.N.B.P. International School, Pune is one such institute where 21st-century skills are built among students with the help of meaningful assessment. The entire faculty team led by principal and guided by mentor Ms. Jayshree Venkatraman bring their seasoned expertise to classes to promote modern education and skills. Such should be the curriculum of your child. Conventional assessment has become the thing of the past.

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