Written by Anna Gratz Cockerille
Assessment is a word that has come to take on a particular meaning in education. It has come to be synonymous with testing, evaluation, grading. But here is one traditional dictionary’s definition of assessment:
Assessment (n.): The evaluation or estimation of the nature, quality, or ability of someone or something.
This definition seems to carry less judgment and pressure than some of the ways in which the word assessment is often applied. To assess, then, is to really understand the current state of something. Assessment is about gathering information, noticing details, collecting ideas. It does not necessarily connote uncovering weakness, or ranking, or using data in a high-stakes way.