We’ve been asked to write about how we might assess learning of a student who is “thinking like a learner.” If we could isolate these students in a public school and not be forced to teach to a test or give all the perfunctory assessments, we might lead them along in quasi-Socratic method wherein we engage the learner with ever deepening questions. These questions require logic to figure out an answer. Assessment in this learning situation centers on the teacher accepting answers that demonstrate sound reasoning while the student is charged with accepting the assignment to come up with an answer for every question. The assessment, just as the learning, never ends.
We could use this method because we need to figure out what students do know and start from there with questions that make them think about what we want them to learn.
My discipline, teaching of a foreign language, is a linear medium, meaning it follows a pattern with little deviation. But, students who are interested in becoming fluent and accurate can be taught through questioning strategies that require them to think about previously learned material and how it might be put together in an order that has not yet been covered in class. I use questioning strategies to encourage thinking in the language
after students have learned the basic sounds, simple conjugations, commands, and a fair amount of vocabulary,