Humanities and Social Sciences Support Materials
Assessment Principle 2
Assessment should be educative
Civics and Citizenship snapshot: Making decisions
Humanities and Social Sciences/Knowledge and understanding/Civics and Citizenship/Communities and Skills/Evaluating/Communicating and reflecting
Who makes rules, why rules are important and the consequences of rules not being followed
Use decision-making processes (e.g. share views, recognise different points of view, identify issues, identify possible solutions, plan for action in groups)
Reflect on learning, identify new understandings and act on findings in different ways
Nature of the assessment
Student self-reflection, supported by teacher observation
Purposes of the assessment
For students to be aware of how they participate in the decision-making process and also their role within the group setting
Stage in the Teaching sequence
During the teaching cycle – formative assessment
In prior lessons, the teacher gave students the opportunity to:
- brainstorm the variety of rules they encounter
- discuss reasons why people make rules
- look at how rules are made
- investigate how rules protect others
- investigate and practise how they can collaboratively participate in the decision-making process (e.g. taking turns, voting to ensure consensus, allocating roles, delegating, negotiating, valuing the views of others)
- create a decision-making strategy book to remind and guide them through the process.
Using knowledge gained from previous learning, the class jointly constructed a checklist for the decision-making process. The teacher spent time explaining to the class what each aspect/skill in the checklist looked like. She also discussed the qualitative differences from a low-level response to a high-level response.
The students were then given the task to collaboratively construct a set of rules for a given situation, within a small-group setting.
The focus of this assessment was on how the students participate in the decision-making process.They were reminded of the strategies and behaviours discussed and practised in previous lessons, and to refer to the checklist throughout their discussion.
At the end of the session, the students reflected using the checklist to self-assess how they, and their group, participated in the decision-making process. The teacher then led a short discussion of how each group interacted, their strengths and weaknesses and how they might extend themselves to improve in this area.
Using the information
The teacher used the information to identify and support those students who were having difficulty with participating in the decision-making process. She planned further whole-class and small-group activities to allow students to practise these skills within a supportive environment.