Curriculum-Based Assessment Disadvantages

by Alan Kirk

Success is judged by the final result of a project. In the classroom, when using curriculum-based assessment, this final result runs the risk of being ignored. The evaluators are valuing the work of the teacher based on his ability to plan in advance. The curriculum is material assembled based on the teacher's belief of how the class will be conducted. In the end, a curriculum does not define what a student learns -- the teacher's interaction with the students themselves determines the student's success in learning the material.

Evaluating Material, Not The Teacher

Curriculum-based assessment involves judging an instructor based on the material that she chooses. This does not take into effect the teaching style of the instructor. Not everyone teaches a subject the same way. Material might seem dry or redundant when examining it as a curriculum, without observing the teacher in her environment. One of the skills a teacher brings into the classroom is the ability to sell what she teaches and make it appealing to her class, that can not be judged solely by reviewing a curriculum.

Student Background Varies

When creating a curriculum, if a teacher knows that's what he will be evaluated on, he will have to choose a standardized curriculum for the entire class. This removes the ability to customize the curriculum for groups within the class. He will need to teach at the same reading and understanding levels for everyone in his class. Teachers know that not all students are created equally. Being evaluated based on the ability to choose a curriculum instead of the ability to reach the students he is teaching is judging on theory instead of results.

Limits Creativity

Creativity is hard to demonstrate when creating a curriculum. The teacher must evaluate whether taking risks is worth the risk of including it in the curriculum. She is going to want to create a curriculum that is easy for the evaluators to understand. This means taking a straightforward approach toward teaching. Lessons outside the traditional classroom or projects that rely on creativity may not be able to be adequately visioned by the evaluators when using the curriculum as the only judging material.

Lack Of Flexibility

If a teacher is judged on the curriculum he develops and how well he teaches that curriculum, he loses the ability to improvise. This means that in the classroom, if he discovers his class is struggling to pick up on a subject he may hesitate to work outside his original curriculum out of fear of falling behind in the curriculum. This makes the teacher more concerned about teaching toward the standards of the curriculum instead of towards educating his class.

About the Author

Alan Kirk has been writing for online publications since 2006. He has more than 15 years' experience in catering, management and government relations. Kirk has a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Maryland.

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