What is the contextual significance of informal assessment  in the field of education?

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The significance of informal assessment in the field of education is that it can and should be used by teachers on a regular basis within each class to ensure that their students are comprehending the information the teachers are trying to impart.

Informal assessment is done by teachers often within each class period.  The teachers ask students questions on an informal basis to check the students’ understanding.  This is not the same thing as a formal assessment such as a quiz or exam. 

If teachers do not engage in such informal assessments on a regular basis, they risk “losing” their students and not realizing that they have done so.  They will not find out that they have lost their students until a formal assessment.  At that point, it will be much harder to go back, reteach the material, and get the students back to where they should be.  The students may also have become frustrated by this point if they have been “lost” for too long.

Therefore, the significance of informal assessments is that they are an important tool for teachers to use every day to see if their students are learning.

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What is the contextual significance of assessments in the field of education?

Assessments are both very important and very controversial in the field of education.

Assessments are vital to the field of education.  Without assessments, teachers cannot find out what their students are learning.  These assessments can be formal, as in the case of tests that teachers give at the ends of units.  They can also be informal.  Teachers can do things on a random basis, asking students questions or giving quick quizzes.  All of these are very important because they allow teachers to monitor the degree to which their students are learning.

However, assessments are extremely controversial.  This is largely due to the rise in standardized testing due to such things as the No Child Left Behind law.  There are many who feel that standardized assessments are coming to have too much of a role in education.  People feel that they are being emphasized too much in comparison to assessments that teachers make themselves that are based around what they are actually teaching.

In these ways, assessments are very important to education but are also becoming controversial because of the rise in “high stakes testing.”

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