Chapter 3: Beginning with the End in Mind

Questions: Begin to draft your own assessment plan by considering the following steps:

1. Choose a subject area and one term to focus on. You may find it easier to begin with one unit of study.

2. Summarize the learning outcomes into a clear description of the learning destination.

3. Read and review the documents for your subject area and grade level to see if your description is an accurate summary.

In order to do this activity, I will copy the Outcomes from the Saskatchewan English B30 curriculum’s Comprehend and Respond section, and then provide my commentary following each outcome to show my interpretation and provide a brief description on how I would accomplish this outcome.

Outcomes and Indicators B30
Global Perspectives (international, including indigenous, texts only)
Focus: Communicating with Purpose, Correctness, Originality, and Logical Reasoning.
Comprehend and Respond (CR). Students will extend their abilities to view, listen to, read, comprehend, and respond to a variety of contemporary and traditional grade-appropriate texts in a variety of forms (oral, print, and other media) from First Nations, Métis, and other cultures for a variety of purposes including for learning, interest, and enjoyment.

CR B 30.1 View, listen to, read, comprehend, and respond to a variety of grade-appropriate international, including indigenous, texts that address: identity (e.g., Sense of Self), social responsibility (e.g., Social Criticism), and social action (agency) (e.g. Addressing the Issues).

My interpretation of CR B30.1, is that students should experience different ways of becoming familiar with a variety of texts pertaining to the issues of identity, social responsibility, and social action. These texts should be at the Grade 12 level, and there should be a variety of readings from other countries and Indigenous literature. In order to complete this outcome, I would have my students read and listen to audio tapes or watch movie clips of different works. Shakespeare, for instance, would be considered an international text and many of his pieces discuss social responsibility and the search for a sense of self. My students would then be asked to do a series of assignments (because it is a larger piece to study) ranging from different ability levels and using multiple intelligence perspectives, as well as making connections from their lives to Shakespeare’s work through journal responses and other ways.

CR B 30.2 View, comprehend, and evaluate critically a variety of visual and multimedia texts by international, including indigenous, artists and authors from various cultural communities, and identify how the texts address beliefs, values, and power.

For this outcome, I believe it is asking students to view and critique texts that are not in printed form about power, values and beliefs. I would start with asking my students to define each of those words and then create a list of the ways they have power and the values and beliefs they have. As a class, we would discuss the meaning of the words and have volunteers read their answers. Then, I would introduce different ways of thinking (other critical lenses) and ask how people of those groups do not have power. When we did the reading of the texts, students would be able to apply their knowledge about the social lenses to come up with their own analysis of the study. There would be discussions about the form that the text is presented in (multimedia, visual, etc.) and how it affects the interpretations of the audience and the purpose, as well. As this is in the Comprehend and Respond section, there would be opportunities for the students to communicate their understanding through written work.

CR B 30.3 Listen to and comprehend grade- appropriate informational and literary texts created by international, including indigenous, speakers and authors, and analyze the perspectives, biases, beliefs, values, identities, and power presented in each text.

This outcome can be built on by the previous outcome’s discussion of critical lenses and how power marginalizes certain groups of people as they identify these types of biases in their studies. These texts can be speeches or presentations, and students will develop their own meanings of the topics based on their prior knowledge, experiences and the cues that indicate the key points.

CR B 30.4 Read and demonstrate comprehension of a range of contemporary and classical grade-appropriate informational (including position papers, magazine and newspaper articles, and electronic communications) and literary (including drama, novels, poetry, short stories, essays, biographies, and autobiographies) texts from various international, including indigenous, cultures and analyze the philosophical, ethical, and social influences that have shaped information, issues, characters, plots, and themes.

This particular outcome requires students to read diverse types of literature, and then show their understanding of each text by discussing the influences and biases, such as those that will be discussed in the previous outcomes (i.e. white privilege), and how that changes the text’s individual features. The other social justice lenses that will be applied will reinforce that there are external influences hidden in the writing. I may also choose to ask the students how the lack of other lenses and perspectives (i.e. gender, sexual orientation, racial diversity, etc.) reinforce the embedded social “norms” that have come to be common sense in our society.

My question for you: what do you as a teacher do to help students recognize the many perspectives from different marginalized groups without making them feel responsible or guilty for these mistreatments?

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