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Commentary: Directions for Assessment in New Zealand

Lester Flockton

Directions for Assessment in New Zealand (DANZ), published in March 2009, was written to provide strategic advice to the Ministry of Education to guide and inform the design of new and improved strategies, policies and plans for assessment. The central premise of that advice is that all young people should be educated in ways that develop their capacity to assess their own learning. Students who have well-developed assessment capabilities are better able and motivated to access, interpret and use information from quality assessment in ways that affirm or further their learning.

In placing students at the centre of assessment practice, the advice is consistent with the best of current thinking, including the ideas behind “assessment for learning”, the use of assessment feedback to enhance teaching and learning and professional learning designed to assist teachers to enhance their students’ assessment capabilities.

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