Tô Thụy Diễm Quyên. — Photo doanhnhansaigon.vn
Educationalist Tô Thụy Diễm Quyên, an expert on educational reform programmes of the Ministry of Education and Training, talks to Đời sống & Pháp Luật (Life and Law) magazine on what should be included in a student’s performance report
Can you please explain the Ministry of Education and Training’s draft plan to evaluate students’ performance in the current course of educational reform?
Under the plan, students’ assessment will be based on the students’ qualitative performance rather than being based on quantitative performance. Now, primary students nationwide are quite familiar with this way of assessing students’ performance.
What’s more important, the new way of assessing students’ performance must be conducted parallel with teachers’ teaching method. We are confident that with this way, students will find studying more interesting, not for the sake of gaining higher scores.
What should the education sector pay more attention to in order to ensure the reforms are successful?
In the past, proposed changes in the evaluation methods of students’ performance were subject to quite many negative responses. Most teachers wanted to give points to their students instead of giving comments on their performance. As a result, teachers often used the same comments for quite a few students.
As we all know, it needs time for people, particularly pupils’ parents, to understand the positive or negative sides of the changes. If they understand the positive parts of these changes, they will side with the Ministry of Education and Training.
It is our mission to help pupils’ parents understand the grades that their children gain in their school year have value in that school year only. The grades do not reflect the students’ academic success. So if the parents don’t have the same educational objectives as the school or society, their children will be put at a disadvantage.
There are various methods to evaluate students’ performance, either through comments or marks. Do we need to develop a standard way to evaluate students’ performance?
We could use the rubric tool to evaluate a student’s study performance. A rubric is a coherent set of criteria for students’ work that include descriptions of levels of performance quality, for example co-operation between the students. Grade 1 means co-operation has been done – yet not on a proactive level. Grade 2 means there is proactive co-operation and Grade 3 is active co-operation and support among peers. This is a much higher level, featuring very active and effective co-operation between students which will lead to a positive attitude among the peers.
Doesn't this method require a lot of capacity and skills from teachers?
I can’t agree more. This shows a very friendly relationship between the students and their teachers/lecturers. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the model also depends on the environment and circumstance of each student, for example, students living in urban areas compared with students living in the countryside or mountainous regions.
In my opinion, changes adopted by the Ministry of Education and Training should be considered a driving force for the educational sector in Việt Nam to advance. The teachers are people who guide their students on what they should do while providing new knowledge to them. — VNS