Informed Professional Judgement

How Data Can Help ...

The Seven Fundamental Principles

To ensure that assessment, evaluation, and reporting are valid and reliable, and that they lead to the improvement of learning for all students, teachers use practices and procedures that:

  • are fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;
  • support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French), and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit;
  • are carefully planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students;
  • are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the school year or course and at other appropriate points throughout the school year or course;
  • are ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
  • provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement;
  • develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.

Teachers have a leading role to play in the implementation of the seven fundamental principles. On a daily and hourly basis, teachers make professional judgements that ensure effective implementation of these principles, making decisions with respect to individual students and groups of students that have profound implications for them. How students feel about themselves as learners and whether they enjoy learning and strive for excellence are closely related to their teachers’ professional skills both in differentiating instruction and assessment and in helping students understand how they can improve. Teachers create environments in which all students feel valued and confident and have the courage to take risks and make mistakes. In their important professional role, teachers show students that they care about them, and model a love of learning that can deeply influence their lives. Teachers’ professional judgements are at the heart of effective assessment, evaluation, and reporting of student achievement.

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