Junior Cycle Reform Process Analysis

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1 Introduction
This essay discusses the two main types of assessment – formative assessment and summative assessment. It then describes the proposed Junior Cycle reform in the Republic of Ireland, particularly in relation to the changes in assessment. The essay then comments on the current state of the Junior Cycle reform process in the Republic of Ireland.
These are two contrasting types of assessment. Formative assessment being a more continuous approach that happens during the learning in the classroom, it’s more of a check for the attainment of learning, whereas summative assessment is a more formal type of assessment that usually takes place at the end of a period or particular topic. Summative assessment has often been described as more
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Cowie and Bell (1999) stated that the ‘purpose’ aspect of the planned formative assessment process is mainly used to gain information by the teacher about the class as a whole. This feedback can then be used by the teacher to inform and shape their teaching. The ‘purpose’ aspect of the planned formative assessment often took the shape of a broad class-wide activity such as a survey or a questionnaire about what the students knew on a certain topic. The teachers that took part in the research stated that they often used the results of the ‘purpose’ activity to guide the plan for the class on a certain topic. It gave them information about what the students knew and gave them a guide to approach a certain topic which assisted them in “getting through the curriculum” (Cowie and Bell, 1999,…show more content…
These issues will be found during the learning of the topic, as opposed to at the end of a school period in a formal testing environment. Cowie and Bell (1999) emphasise the importance of feedback in both their types of formative assessment. Black and Wiliam (1998) also state that the quality of the feedback to the formative assessment process, the greater the effectiveness of the whole formative assessment. However, Black and Wiliam (1998) also state that it is not just the quality of the content of the feedback that is given but also the type of feedback given and the context in which it is given that is important
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