Assessment in secondary music
Assessment in secondary music

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Assessment in secondary music

Assessment in secondary music


This free course, Assessment in secondary music, explores assessment in music education. You will consider issues around the purposes of assessment in music, the forms that it takes, how you can ensure that these forms of assessment are appropriate and perceived as legitimate, and how young people can be fully involved in the assessment of their work, including making decisions about what is assessed and how it is assessed. Most of all, however, the course will have at its heart considerations of how music assessment can be musical.

The course identifies and explores some of the key issues and debates around assessment and music in secondary schools. Through coming to understand these issues and debates you will be able to reflect upon and develop your assessment practice. In particular, you will gain greater understanding of how assessment can support the development of young people’s musical understanding.

Now listen to an introduction to this course by its author, Gary Spruce:

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Introduction to Assessment in secondary music by Gary Spruce

My experience of teaching in secondary schools taught me that assessment is one of the most difficult tasks for music teachers. Often what you want and need to assess in music does not map well onto the general school assessment systems. And the demands of these systems can lead to assessment which is inherently unmusical. For me it is important then that music teachers understand what assessment in music education is for and how it is best carried out in the classroom.

Music teachers need to make the case for approaches to assessment in music that support young people’s musical development and that assess musical learning through musical means. Some creativity is needed in crafting these assessment systems.

This course is aimed at beginner teachers of music in secondary schools. It starts by looking at different forms and functions of assessment, what teachers should be assessing in music, how to make assessment musical. From there it identifies key approaches to assessment in the music classroom which will support young people’s musical development and the key aspect here is involving young people themselves in the assessment processes.

Finally, the unit explores how assessment can be used to help teachers plan for further musical development, not to mention fostering a better understanding of the young people we teach.

Assessment is important and this approach should stimulate your thinking around this tricky area of teaching.

End transcript
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As you work through the activities you will be encouraged to record your thoughts on an idea, an issue or a reading, and how it relates to your practice. Hopefully you will have opportunity to discuss your ideas with colleagues. We therefore suggest that you use a notebook – either physical or electronic – to record your thoughts in a way in which they can easily be retrieved and re-visited. If you prefer, however, you can record your ideas in response boxes within the course – in order to do this, and to retrieve your responses, you will need to enrol on the course.

This OpenLearn course is part of a collection of Open University short courses for teachers and student teachers [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .


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