The New Zealand Curriculum states that the primary purpose of assessment is to improve students’ learning and teachers’ teaching as both student and teacher respond to the information that it provides (page 39). Effective assessment benefits students, involves students, supports teaching and learning, is varied to suit the context and purpose, and is valid and fair.
Te Marautanga o Aotearoa expresses similar views in the section Ngā Ahuatanga Ako, under the heading Te Whakarite Aromatawai Whai Take (page 15).
For the senior social science disciplines, the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the major assessment tool. It is a standards based form of assessment that ties in well with an assessment for learning approach. Teachers can use formative assessment processes as part of teaching and learning. For example, it is important that students working towards NCEA achievements are well informed of their progress and of the assessment requirements. This will enable them to discuss and clarify their goals, and understand more about how their learning processes contribute to better outcomes.
Links to key resources and information for assessment in history are provided here:
NCEA resources for history, including Achievement Standards and Unit Standards at levels 1, 2 and 3 on the National Qualifications Framework. Other resources available include National Moderator Reports, assessment specifications, and sample examination questions for external assessments.
NCEA standards have been reviewed to make sure they align with the revised New Zealand Curriculum. Aligned Level 1 and Level 2 NCEA standards are now available and Level 3 will be from 2013.
Find out more about how the New Zealand Curriculum and the Standards Review fit together here.
To inform the NCEA Standards Review, The Ministry of Education, with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, carried out consultation with users of unit and achievement standards derived from the school curriculum from 6 June 2009 to 8 July 2009.
The consultation has now closed, but for your information the materials that were consulted on for history are available here.
These assessment resources have been developed by the Ministry of Education for use with the internally assessed achievement standards. The resources are available in both Word and PDF format.
These support materials have been developed for use with NCEA achievement standards.
This key community covers assessment in the classroom, effective use of evidence, and reporting to families and whānau. It offers news, assessment tools and resources, research, a glossary, FAQ, and related links.
The linked site Consider the evidence promotes 'evidence-driven decision making for secondary schools' and supports secondary educators in making best use of evidence to improve student achievement.
For an overview of assessment, see Directions for assessment in New Zealand, a report by Michael Absolum, Lester Flockton, John Hattie, Rosemary Hipkins, and Ian Reid.
Follow links to the New Zealand Qualifications Framework, NCEA, and subject achievement standards. Further information on assessing with unit standards can be found on the NZQA website. Some useful resources are also available.
In 2007, ERO published three reports on schools’ effectiveness in the collection and use of assessment: