On November 15, the Center for International Cooperation on Education Development (CICED), as part of the EAOKO conference in Minsk, organized a session devoted to discussing prospects of using SAM (Students ’Achievement Monitoring) for development of classroom assessment. The first speaker was Peter Nezhnov, the head of the SAM test development team, who presented its history of creation, goals and enhancement plans.
He began his report with speaking about what is SAM and its fundamental difference from PISA, TIMSS and other comparative studies in education. It lies in the fact that SAM test data can be used, inter alia, to manage the educational process. Speaking about the prospects, Peter Nezhnov noted that preparations are underway to implement tools based on SAM methodology to the practice of school education. For example, diagnostic materials for a teacher based on SAM test are being developed. Also it is scheduled to develop a training module in mathematics, which helps to increase the level of subject competence among pupils graduated from primary school.
The speech of Alexei Vorontsov, author of the educational program “Diagnostics of pedagogical practices”, was dedicated to the problem of how to identify and develop pedagogical practices that contribute to increasing the level of students’ subject competence. To solve this problem, a test for teachers was developed in accordance with the SAM methodology, consisting of blocks of situational pedagogical tasks of a methodological kind. The test results allow determining what pedagogical actions a particular teacher applies in practice and how much they help in fostering pupils’ subject competence. In addition, the analysis of applied pedagogical practices makes it possible to create individual educational programs for teachers.
Further presentations of attendees of workshop devoted to development of test tasks based on SAM methodology were example of an attempt to introduce SAM principles to teacher’s practice. Speakers presented the developed tasks and talked about difficulties that came across in course of development process. For example it was said that qualitative measurement tools, in contrast to quantitative ones, are fundamentally new for teachers and their implementation requires significant changes in classroom regulation. Despite that speakers praised the potential of SAM in terms of development of subject competence and expressed a desire to further implement this tool in their practice.