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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

"And the competition is fierce! Only a few will make it!"

The Olympics was only the most recent reminder of the role of competition in our society. I loved it when an athlete being interviewed after having received a silver medal in her sport reminded the interviewer that she had “earned silver, not lost gold."

We value hard work, commitment, and expertise. We also know that it takes a lot of practice to become an expert. And as every award-winning athlete knows, it also takes a team.

Did you know that although it appears that trees in a forest compete for height as they reach for the sun, underneath the earth they are sharing nutrients? What appears to be competition is actually deep collaboration.

What’s the assessment connection? We forget that those of us who work in support of classroom assessment are also a team. It is why I am so enthusiastically championing all the international experts coming to the International Symposium and companion conference Assessment for Learning: Canada in Conversation with the World. 

We've just found out that Dylan Wiliam is able to join us. Susan Brookhart is coming. Heidi Andrade. Linda Allal. Michael Absolum. Sandra Herbst. Dany Laveault. Ruth Sutton. Gordon Stobart. Lorna Earl. Paul LeMahieu. Louis Volante. And twenty-six other people you will be thrilled to get to know.

As I’ve reflected, I’ve come to understand that people have a hard time appreciating the amount of deep collaboration that exists in the world of classroom assessment.  And that is what underlies the International Symposium on Assessment for Learning.Deep respect. Deep knowledge. Deep collaboration.

I think about Rick Stiggins who, in 2001, invited six country teams so we could engage in the first International Symposium. I think about all the members of the international country teams who have stepped aside so as to make a space for a new member to gain the valuable experience of meeting and working alongside international colleagues. Remember, it takes many trees to be a forest and many drops of water to create a wave.  One person, one idea, one path will never be enough if we are to ensure that assessment is used in the service of learning.

This is why it is important that you register and attend the Assessment for Learning: Canada in Conversation with the Worldconference being held in Fredericton, NB on April 11 and 12, 2014. Space is limited.

Register now and attend this fabulous gathering of classroom experts! It is the quickest way for Canadians to tap into the deep learning, expertise, and results of the amazing collaboration among more than 36 experts in the field of classroom assessment. Attendance that will, in the end, support your work in this area.

All my best,


PS  This event can only happen because every single expert presenter is donating his or her time as part of his or her commitment to classroom assessment. All registration fees go to the costs of actually hosting the Canadian events in Fredericton, NB. In 2009, we did the same thing in New Zealand. And, in 2011, an equally powerful group of assessment teams met in Norway. Again, we volunteered our time on behalf of the host country. Be kind to yourself! Register. Do it now. Space is limited.

Tagboard: https://tagboard.com/AforLConversation/160953

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Are you in a doctoral program? Are you focusing on assessment?

There is the most amazing opportunity for anyone focused on assessment as part of their doctoral studies. The dates for this great event?  Tuesday, April 8 (eve) to Saturday, April 12 (all-day), 2014.

Ten Canadian doctoral students/candidates are invited to be observers to the International Symposium and the Canadian Symposium. There is the most amazing group of International guests with great expertize in the area. You can see who the delegates are and their research interests here.

The Canadian delegates are from every province and territory in Canada. There will be more information posted about them soon. The facilitators for the Canadian Symposium have their biographies posted here.

The doctoral observers will also attend the Assessment for Learning: Canada in Conversation with the World. There will be more than 32 speakers over the Friday evening and all day Saturday event.

You can access the complete agendas for all three events on the website.

There are only 5 spots left and they are going fast.

If this is you or someone you know, please contact Ann Sherman, University of New Brunswick as quickly as possible.