Rethinking Assessments Through an Equity Lens

Many post-secondary educators are wondering: How do I practically live up to my principles and commitments to support all students given the increasing complexity of student needs? For whom are my current assessment practices working and not working? What barriers might assessment practices be inadvertently creating for students? In this session, Usha James invites us to think critically and collaboratively about our current practices: Which practices might we affirm, refine, adopt or abandon to better support student learning? We also consider how to engage fellow educators in thinking critically about assessment through this lens.

About the presenter: Usha James spent 12 years as a secondary teacher and five years seconded to OISE at the University of Toronto, as an instructor in the Initial Teacher Education Program and Director of the Secondary Program. She has authored textbooks, teaching and learning resources, and curriculum documents with the aim of supporting educators and leaders seeking to refine their practice. Usha has contributed to The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2) for many years as a resource writer, editor, speaker and facilitator of professional learning. She was appointed Executive Director of TC2 in 2016. Usha has worked with educators and administrators of kindergarten to post-secondary students, supporting their efforts to improve the quality of their students’ thinking. She has seen how an understanding of how to nurture quality thinking can deepen educator understanding and practice of assessment, instruction, curriculum design, literacy, numeracy, differentiation and equity. Usha has worked extensively with senior district leaders to help them nurture thinking organizations, supporting their strategic planning and building capacity in leadership teams to think critically about their practice.

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Usha James