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T levels are the answer to a better trained and more skilled workforce


Education Training Foundation (ETF) Associate 


T levels: 'Why I'm working to make them a success' | TES | 12.10.2018

Joanna Goodman explains why she joined the T level panel developing the new education and childcare qualification 


Department for Education panel member for developing T level qualifications in Education and Childcare


The Spirit versus the Letter:



Even the government is divided over whether unqualified individuals should be allowed to teach in state-funded schools.


A learning capacity for life:



Assessment beyond Levels: Assessment in new Curriculum:


Assessment beyond Levels: benefits of standardised assessments:


Assessment beyond Levels: a framework for evidencing success:


Webinar: Assessment for Learning: Testing that Actually Improves Learning


Learning for the 21st Century

How to succeed in the digital age of globalisation?


Rapid technological advancement and globalisation create new demands for the world of education.  Current generation of school pupils needs to be prepared for multiple career changes and this necessitates life-long learning.  So what does it mean for schools and the curricula delivered?


‘Knowledge’ in the traditional sense of fact-finding can no longer provide adequate basis for the 21st century learning, where ‘knowledge’ needs to be seen as a competence and a result of in-depth learning leading to the acquisition of new skills.  Therefore during the learning process, it is crucial to bridge knowledge-based material with the skills needed not only for the application of the learnt material but, ultimately, work on developing new skills required for creating new solutions.  This equates with progress which has never been as rapid as during the digital age.


This focus on learning mastery (in-depth learning for understanding) undoubtedly has implications on classroom learning and teaching strategies used.  Drawing on the research into what makes successful learners (Boekaerts, Dweck, Shunk, Stipek), I would suggest that at the core of effective learning is the mastery of learning independence, where the learners are capable of making their own learning decisions.  Moreover, learning independence leads to learning sustainability, which is essential for successful career development in the 21st century, and beyond.   Aiming for achieving learning independence by actively involving pupils in their learning and teaching them to think in critical, creative and evaluative terms through problem solving, investigative tasks or application of the learnt material to new situations, should be at the heart of any 21st century curriculum. 


Since assessment is often the curriculum driver as it leads to gaining new competencies and qualifications, its role and its quality are absolutely crucial in the changing educational landscape.   The way pupils are assessed has an impact on developing reasoning and higher order thinking skills, such as analytical skills, evaluative skills, critical thinking or creative skills, for example.  The ability to think effectively by possessing these higher order thinking skills will become invaluable in the future success at work and will shape the individual learning independence.  Globalisation, new technologies and social networking opportunities for professional growth and business development create endless opportunities for new solutions to old and new problems.  Talents can be developed and educational systems aimed at advancing appropriate skills-based education rooted in learning mastery of key concepts, will have the capacity to create independent learners capable of thinking for themselves.


In the world, where new knowledge can be found at a touch of a button, learning is changing.  It is no longer confined to the mere fact acquisition and its social aspect of interaction with others or resources, including technologies, is fundamental to gaining new skills, competencies or qualifications.  The capacity for instant feedback, for example for goods or services available on-line, has an impact on the changing role of assessment and how feedback is perceived.  As effective feedback is key to any improvement and the concept of feedback is being accepted as part of everyday life, teaching students evaluative skills through self-reflection or peer-evaluation is another essential skill for learning in the 21st century.  It also extends to developing essential critical evaluation skills – the ability to think critically about the found evidence or new ‘knowledge’.


Effective learning in the 21st century requires learners to be active participants in the learning processes in order to maximise opportunities for problem solving and developing learning independence.  Classroom strategies based on formative approaches to assessment as integral part of the learning process create conducive learning environments for fostering the skills needed for success in the digital age, where there is no ceiling to learning.  Utilising smart technologies and virtual learning environments for greater engagement with learning, provide more ideal opportunities for developing higher order thinking skills of analysis or creativity, and can be used to embed independent learning essential to future success.


It is important for the qualification providers to recognise the changing needs for the 21st century learning so the qualifications reflect the skills which are required for successful employment or further education in the highly competitive global economy.



Abstract of paper presented at the ELSIN 2012 Conference



Assessment and Learning within the Framework of Self-regulation


Dr J. Goodman





My empirical qualitative research was conducted in an English independent school where I examined assessments practices in place and explored to what extent the teachers there engaged with formative assessment. Although my study explored the philosophy of independent education and I examined the impact of the school culture on assessment practices in place, in this paper, I focus mainly on theoretical framework and attempt to define assessment, which is seen as an integral part of learning.


As different forms of assessment are explored, the importance of effective feedback is emphasized and, in particular, its impact on future learning. The concept of self-regulation, as a theoretical framework, is highlighted because this concept is considered an important aspect of achieving learning independence. In this sense, self-regulation is seen as self-discovered learning where learners are able to assume a sense of responsibility for their learning, resulting in increased motivation to learn and leading to the mastery of greater learning autonomy. Therefore, I also explore the impact of self-regulation on pupil motivation, an essential aspect of learning, and discuss why proficiency in self-regulatory skills can be crucial to achieving this learning autonomy. I use the theoretical framework of ‘self-regulation’ to support the effectiveness of formative assessment practices in improving progress because at the heart of such practices is active involvement of students in their learning through peer or self-assessment, for example.


In discussing the use and impact of assessments in schools, and in particular assessment for learning, I also make references to business and sports coaching for improved performance as there seem to be similarities between the techniques used in coaching for improved business or sporting performance and assessment for learning aimed at improving progress. These parallels are drawn on the assumption that sports or business coaching is seen in terms of helping others to learn through unlocking individuals’ potential for improved performance, rather than teaching them. As such, both sports/business coaching and assessment for learning, are based on specific guidance to feed forward, leading to developing learning independence.


Thus I conclude that a failure to provide pupils with opportunities to become independent learners can be disadvantaging some pupils’ educational achievement and can lead to pupils’ reliance on external forms of regulation, which could be counterproductive to motivation and learning sustainability.


Key words: formative assessment, feedback, self-regulation, motivation, learning autonomy




Full reference list will be provided with my paper and it will include:


Black, P. and Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the Black Box: Raising
Standards through Classroom Assessment.
London: GL Assessment.


Black, P., and Wiliam, D. (1998b). Assessment and
classroom learning. Assessment in
Education, 5(1): 7-74.


Boekaerts, M. (1995). Motivation in Education. The British Psychological Society.


Boekaerts. M. (2002). Motivation to Learn. Educational Practices – 10. International Academy of Education. UNESCO booklet.


Boekaerts, M. and Corno. L. (2005). Self-regulation in the classroom: a perspective on assessment and intervention.  Applied Psychology: An International Review, 54 (2): 199–231.


Stobart, G. (2008). Testing Times: The uses and abuses of assessment. Oxon: Routledge.


Whitmore, J. (2002). Coaching for Performance. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.



ELSIN Conference 2012 presentation on Assessment for Learning within the Framework of Self-regulation:



Webinar on Assessment for Learning: practical approach



ELSIN 2013 Conference Theme: Building Learning Capacity for Life


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