Field Trial of the Draft Source Book on Learning Assessment

Field Trial of the Draft Source Book on Learning Assessment
at the Primary Level
The Background
The NCERT has recently brought out the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) –
2005. Based on this, syllabi have been prepared and instructional materials are being
developed/produced in a phased manner. The NCF-2005 propounds a significant
pedagogical shift in education towards a constructivist paradigm for learning and
teaching, which would require suitable adjustment in textbook writing, classroom
transaction and learner assessment. It also attempts to take within its ambit the issue of
systematic accountability for enhancement in the quality of learning of children in
general and their learning achievement in particular. The NCF views assessment,
especially at the primary level, as a meaningful and comprehensive process pertaining to
the quality and extent of a child's learning, construction of knowledge and her/his interest
and attitudes towards learning which may be manifested in various activities. The new
vision of the curriculum, articulated in the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005,
has profound implications for reflection and thinking on the above concerns as related to
assessment/evaluation of children. The present Source Book is in pursuance of this
pedagogical shift.
Developing the Source Book: The Process So Far
The development of the Draft Source Book was launched in June 2006, by the
Department of Elementary Education. Initially a core group was constituted and a
brainstorming meeting was conducted in the same month. The major aim was to decide
the operationalization strategy for the same. As a follow-up, 5 subgroups were constituted
for different curricular areas namely, Languages, Mathematics, Environmental Studies,
Art Education as well as Issues across the Curriculum. A second meeting was convened
in July 2006 with the members of the core group and different subgroup members to
draw up a plan of action and decide on the aspects that needed to be focused upon while
developing the Source Book. During 2006-07, around twenty subgroup meetings were
held to prepare the drafts in the different curricular areas and issues across the
curriculum. In order to enrich the drafts and make them more teacher friendly, school
visits were also conducted both in and outside Delhi. A three-day International Workshop
on Learning Assessment at the Primary Level was conducted from November 28-30,
2006 in collaboration with UNESCO New Delhi office. This provided an apt platform to
share various international and national experiences of important large-scale initiatives in
assessment. Based on the deliberations of the Workshop, the subgroup drafts were further
revised and modified. The draft Source Book was finalized in June 2007 and has been
placed on the NCERT website.
Field Trial of the Draft Source Book
The next phase of the programme viewed as critical entails field trial of the Draft Source
Book. This is to be a large-scale collaborative exercise with UNESCO and UNICEF
involving the NCERT, 5 Regional Institutes of Education, concerned State Project Offices
and State Councils of Education and Research Training, along with district, block and
cluster level functionaries and Junior Project Fellows (JPF); the most important of them all
being the teachers working in primary classes.
In order to ensure proper implementation and trial of the draft Source Book within
selected schools, a number of significant preparatory activities have been completed
• Translation of the draft Source Book into seven regional languages.
• Review of the translated versions in a workshop mode.
• Recruitment of 40Junior Project Fellows (JPFs).
• Development of teachers’ guidelines to be used during the trial period.
• Development of tools for monitoring, review and consolidation of data collected
during the process of field trial.
• Orientation and training of State teams, representatives of partner institutions,
block and cluster level functionaries, teachers and JPFs.
• Development of state specific plans of action for trial
• State specific training on use of monitoring tools by the teams.
The process of field trial was launched in October 2008, in 10 selected states and two
districts in each state namely Assam (Morigaon, Darrang), Rajasthan (Jaipur, Tonk), Tamil
Nadu (Kancheepuram, Thiruvellore), Maharashtra (Jalna, Thane), Orissa (Khurda,
Nayagarh), Jharkhand (Ranchi, Jamshedpur), Mizoram (Aizwal, Kolasip), Himachal
Pradesh (Shimla, Solan), Kerala (Trivandrum, Kasargod), Goa (North, South). This ground
level exercise, which is being implemented by teachers in 160 selected schools, is viewed
as both a critical and necessary process in providing inputs to further modify and enrich the
draft document, before it is finalized for dissemination across the country.
The process of field trial is to be completed by the States by March – April 2008. As an
outcome of this academic exercise a set of feedback documents will be prepared and sent
to the DEE by each of the states. Based on these documents and information collected
during periodic sharing of experiences in the trial period by the State teams with the
NCERT and RIE Faculty, UNESCO and UNICEF representatives, the draft document
will be further enriched. Finalization of the document will be undertaken by the five sub
group members from April to June 2008. The final document is expected to be ready for
publication by July, 2008.