ONE SIZE FITS ALL: HOW TRUE?

BY: Kathlene Belen

When we are to buy clothes or shoes, the first thing we consider is our size—if it’s available. The saleslady, the owner of the store, or the person we asked regarding this would automatically check if there is still stock. They will not and will never say “oh, it’s fine, just choose anything because one size fits all.” Unless the cloth is indeed a free size. The point is, one size does not fit all.

This is similar with the Education System, we do not treat our students as generic that everything is applicable to them. We have to consistently acknowledge that students are naturally diverse. They have different learning styles and as Howard Gardner puts it, students have multiple intelligences.

We should not put them in a box and expect them to learn and achieve the learning objectives we prepared for everyone. This is where differentiated instruction takes place. Differentiated Instruction is a style of teaching that allows students to work on their learning experiences in such a way that best suits their unique needs. This is parallel to the concept of Performance Assessment which allow the students to achieve higher level thinking skills and application of knowledge. In a study conducted by Bland & Gareis (n.d) they have presented the following as the major characteristics of performance assessment: It measures skill and ability, it demonstrates knowledge and skills, and it prompts the interest and motivation of students.

Unlike the traditional assessment—commonly known as paper and pencil type of tests that is very objective and highly cognitive, performance assessment would ensure high level of learning in correspondence to the different learning targets: Knowledge, Reasoning, Product, Skill, and Disposition/Affective and achieving the top level of Bloom’s Taxonomy particularly the analyzing, evaluating and creating.

This is why in the implementation of K-!2 Curriculum, the Department of Education also reiterate this that one size does not fit all in the revision of National Competency-Based Teacher Standards (NCBTS) now Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers (PPST). In addition, in every DepEd order, the diversity of the learners are always mentioned. The emphasis on it gives us the idea that it is indeed important to recognize and acknowledge these differences so teachers could establish strategies on how to work on it.

I personally like how performance assessment works as a student as it does not focus or it does not measure the things I remember just like what traditional assessments do. After the objective type of examination, I will forget everything that is being studied. In contrast to performance assessment, it focuses on how I will improve as a person and as a student as well. It gives me chance to retain the information through different type of assessment tools that allows me to apply what I have learned.

There are also instances that I find myself not performing well just because the assessment that the teacher use is always the same and does not match my interest and needs. It feels like I am just complying and not learning anymore.

This is why whenever I encounter a teacher or Professor that let the students work depending on their most convenient way, I really appreciate it. Not only because this kind of method promotes creativity on the students’ part but also it addresses the needs and interest of the students—depicting the essence of student-centered approach.

Therefore, this goal has profound implications for teaching and testing. Genuine readiness for college and 21st century careers, as well as participation in today’s democratic society, requires.

Students need to be able to find, evaluate, synthesize, and use knowledge in new contexts, frame and solve non-routine problems, and produce research findings and solutions. It also requires students to acquire well-developed thinking, problem solving, design, and communication skills (Hammond & Adamson 2010)

In Conclusion, performance assessment would likely to produce the expected outcome of K-12 curriculum—the learners who are holistically developed and equipped with 21st century skills.

References:

Bland, L. & Gareis C. (n.d) Performance Assessments: A Review of Definitions, Quality Characteristics, and Outcomes Associated with Their Use in K-12 Schools. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1174728.pdf

Hammond, L. & Adamson, F. (2010) Beyond Basic Skills: The Role of Performance Assessment in Achieving 21st Century Standards of Learning. Retrieved from: https://globaled.gse.harvard.edu/files/geii/files/beyond-basic-skills-role-performance-assessment-achieving-21st-century-standards-learning-report_0.pdf

Mead, S. (n.d) Differentiated Learning: Why "One Size Fits All" Doesn't Work In Education. Retrieved from:https://www.whitbyschool.org/passionforlearning/differentiated-learning-why-one-size-fits-all-doesnt-work-in-education