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 namely: • 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.