As educators slowly transition into a more progressive form of pedagogy and assessment our role changes in many ways. We become less of an instructor and more of a guide. We become less a "teacher", and more of a student. The dynamic of how we work is also changing. In a conversation with my consigliere, Joey Till, he pointed out exactly what we are doing--we are flipping the teacher.
While I'm in school I spend a great deal of time "grading". Of course, I don't mean I grading papers. I sit down with groups or individuals and use conversations as formative assessment. When its time to decide on a grade, we have another conversation. I ask content questions. We look at the requirements, I tell them my formative observations, and they decide an appropriate grade, which is almost always right where I think they should be. Another way I am increasingly "grading" in school is using student presentations. I blogged about the instructional value of student presentations, but obviously this is also a good time for assessment.
Some of the teachers I have worked with express concern about the additional planning time that project-based curriculum may require. Some of the worry could be relieved if they learn that "grading" doesn't mean sifting through stacks of papers at home every night.