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Impact of CCE in schools

20 April 2010 17 Comments

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Meeta Mohanty

Last year, the CBSE introduced a new set of educational reforms with Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE), suggesting an overhaul of the education system. Documents have been circulated across the country, and the intensive training by the CBSE to principals and teachers have been a noteworthy effort. What is striking about the whole exercise is the effort of the government to break away from the tyranny of examinations, which have been largely dominated by paper and pencil assessments.

As an educator, and now as a teacher-educator it aggrieves me that CCE has created more chaos rather than being welcomed by schools. The bewilderment it has generated is equivocal amongst school managements, teachers, students, parents, publishers and other agencies working in the field of education. Thus, there are schools demanding intensive CCE training for different stakeholders. Students feel that it will mean more assessments for them on an ongoing basis. Teachers feel that their work has increased tremendously with assessments having additional ‘descriptive indicators’.

It is shocking to look at some solutions that have immediately come up in the market like the CCE software which will help teachers grade the descriptive indicators. Such solutions further state that there is no need for anecdotal records; a software will grade all life skills, attitudes and values. Then, there are publishers who feel that adding more worksheets or assessments in books will make their books CCE-centered.

However, what is visible through all these efforts is the lack of understanding of the framework and ideology behind implementing CCE. Let’s examine some facets of CCE.

  • Assessments should capture all three major goals of education – the psychomotor, cognitive and the affective.
  • It does not imply breaking syllabus into smaller bits and testing students weekly through class tests because this is again paper and pencil assessment.
  • It does not emphasize formal assessments only, rather assessments or observations are to be made in informal settings like break-time, in the corridor, in the playfield, etc.
  • It goes beyond assessment as only a post-learning experience, rather it emphasizes on assessments to be made during the learning experience.
  • It emphasizes on documenting the learner’s efforts in learning, processes of thinking to be captured through assessments.
  • Emphasis is also on tailoring instruction according to different learning styles and assessing differentially. Differential assessments would mean giving more scope to learners to exhibit their understanding of concepts in a variety of ways like – role play, collecting material and displays, reading and writing tasks, surveys, presentations, etc. All these have to form a part and parcel of each theme that is dealt with in a classroom.
  • Assessment to be continuous implies that children need to be assessed throughout the year through a range of tools and techniques.
  • CCE tends to make assessments school-based and done by teachers. It does not mean increasing the subjective bias while assessing. Rather it implies that teachers need to corroborate their comments with concrete observations and anecdotes of learning.
  • It also shifts the onus of assessing a learner not only to the class teacher rather assessment to be collaboratively done by all the subject teachers. Thus, this process of collaboration increases objectivity and validity instead of generating bias.

What goes behind the implementation of CCE?

  • Shared lesson planning: Time needs to be set aside for teachers to plan lessons collectively. Not only the same subject teachers, but also collaboration of resources ought to happen with teachers taking up different subject areas. This shall encourage cross-curricular exchange.
  • Reduced teacher pupil ratio: It is absolutely essential to have a small class, with the teacher-student ratio not exceeding 1:30 for effective implementation of the scheme. In the changed scenario, a teacher ought to maintain a number of records like child’s portfolios, anecdotal records, prepare checklists, rubrics for assessment. All this only becomes viable with a small class size.
  • Sustained reading time: It is often observed that classroom issues remain only the prerogative of the class teacher. Her action on day to day class issues is often left to her practical wisdom. There is never an effort made to allocate time for helping teachers read on fundamental classroom issues, explore different research areas. Thus, reading amongst teachers is dying out. It needs to be a sustained school routine where pedagogical issues are addressed.
  • Understanding pedagogy: As teachers it is important to understand different discourses in pedagogy. The field is evolving and thus even if we as teachers might have not undergone a formal course in the pedagogy of different disciplines, it is never too late to start reading to understand the learning process and how it relates to the child’s mind. An M.A. or any such degree in the core subject area, say for example English, or Physics, does not generally include and therefore does not assume a knowledge of pedagogy. Nor does a B.Ed. degree make a complete course in pedagogy. There are different courses in pedagogy being offered for different disciplines and understanding of this is absolutely integral to teaching and evaluation of learners.
  • Flexible timetable: The implementation of the scheme also implies flexible timetables. Imagine the plight of the child’s mind buffering between different subjects one after the other, switching on and off within the span of 30 minutes. Further, to observe the processes of learning, every subject shall require block periods of at least one hour ten minutes to justify teaching, learning and simultaneous evaluation. In case of an outdoor activity, this time maybe extended.

There are many more systemic changes which ought to be in place before the implementation of CCE. Flexibility, change and willingness to learn are the key factors.

Anecdotal records – an important means of evaluating learners

Anecdotal Records are an effective way of tracking a child’s performance as required under the Comprehensive and Continuous Evaluation scheme. In the first place, it is important to understand that an anecdotal record means citing specific examples from inside or outside the classroom that can help in unravelling a child’s attributes – the cognitive, the affective or the psychomotor.

Below are highlighted some of the facets of anecdotal records.

  • Anecdotes ought to describe the context, and capture the child’s behavior.
  • They should be recorded ‘’verbatim’’, without any interpretation by the observer.
  • They can be brief or detailed.
  • They should state facts (what was observed and not an interpretation of the observation).
  • Value-based words that convey assumptions like good, bad, mild, aggressive ought to be completely avoided while recording.
  • They can be recorded both inside and outside the classroom.

These records can unleash a lot of information about the child’s learning style, strategies he/she uses. Let’s consider some examples of anecdotal records coupled with teacher’s comments:

Shriya provides multiple reasons behind occurrence of a phenomenon. It was a delightful experience to read Shriya’s insights about why a cat cannot live in water. She explained that “it has lungs and hence it can’t live in water. She added further that it does not have an oily body or fins to live in water.” She uses wall display readily to collect information.

Vishnu has begun to establish causal relations between phenomenon around him and reason logically. While drawing inferences about what changes a cat has to undergo to live in water he wrote: “It should have a flat body, fins, gills and an oily body.” He supplements his thoughts with well labelled illustrations.

The above anecdotes capture the reasoning and thinking skills of a child.

Radhika chooses to retell a familiar story in her own words when it comes to story writing. She writes a story giving an appropriate beginning, developing the plot and the character as can be seen in the story “The race day”. She can write spellings paying attention to the key sounds in a word; for instance she wrote “disided” for “decided”.

The above anecdote captures the extent of details captured by a child while retelling a story.

Digvijay displays leadership qualities by trying to reason when faced with unfamiliar situations. Recently during one of the outdoor activities involving the digging of ponds, Digvijay displayed his resourcefulness by using various resources available in the environment to open the jammed tap of the hose pipe.

The above anecdote talks about the child who learns best through nature and hands-on activities. Anecdotes can be written to document a child’s positive or negative behavior. A teacher needs to be very careful while recording observations. Examples about a child’s emotional response, social behavior, group work, team play, adaptation to difficult situations are as important as a child’s academic performance. Anecdotes ought to be recorded in a variety of situations and on different activities.

The author works with Oxford University Press India and is currently involved in teacher training. She can be reached at meetaprabir@gmail.com.

17 Comments »

  • aarti srivastav said:

    I think the views expressed are fairly lucid and do bing out the significance of the anecdotal comments as part of an evaluation. It would certainly bring out points and features in the child’s learning which might escape notice in a typical paper abd pencil assessment. However, the other side of the CCE which comprises of the numerous parameters and descriptors does pose a logistical problem for teachers. It is very helpful to read thru the various descriptors and understand the various points to be observed under a particular Scholastic or Co Scholastic Area- but it may pose some challenges for the new teacher to keep these before her while assigning grades to the child in various areas.Also, short cuts may easily be adopted in order to cut on time needed to work out the scores for each descriptor as listed under sample Sheet for grades in Co Scholastic Areas. On the whole, I found the Proposed Evaluation Scheme for Scholastic Areas somewhat more manageable than the beautifully detailed but certainly a lot more complex Assessment in Co Scholastic areas- I speak from the point of view of the average teacher with a full teaching load as prescribed by CBSE. I would love to hear from you, Meeta. Best regards Aarti Srivastav

  • Shubhra Mangal said:

    I fairly appreciate the views and ideas ewpressed in the above article, but there is the other gloomy side of the picture in the sense of training of teachers for CCE. Untill and unless we aim at the teacher training ptogramme both inservice and oreservice, we will not be able to launch CCE successfully. the curricular aspects oof the teacher tarining module are still admissible and are not an issue of debate but the curriculum transaction needs to be taken care of. When we talk about training teachers both inservice and preservice we need to specialize the training at both levels accordingly. Crating anecdotal records and cummulative records is not an issue but using them appropritely and judiciously is the issue. This has to be taught and practiced at the preservice teacher training level so that pupil teachers can see and learn. Whereas if we talk about the teachers already teaching then it has to be inculcated through inservice tarining sessions where taechers may exchange innovative practices and thoughts. Assessment to be Formative has to entail a lot more of practice and observation on the part of teachers. Definitely the expected changes and the results thereafter cannnot be overnight, as any change takes time to set in. But the stakeholders of education, particularly teacher education need to take up the issues more responsibly. Successful Implementation of CCE has to be in partnership of schools and teacher education institutes, DIETs and the SCERT and NCERT. The curricular aspects of Teacher training also need to be changed in oreder to keep pace with the demands of the school education. None can function in isolation. Thanks

  • r.nair said:

    i think that by introducing the co curricular activities in the category of grading but it has taken studies as the secondary option.

  • r.nair said:

    i think that by introducing the co curricular activities in the category of grading it has taken studies as the secondary option.

  • bhawna sharma said:

    i think cce has benefited students alot because of this the burden of studies has reduced and projects given to them has also increased their creativity and knowledge too. students are scoring very good .
    so thankzz to CCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  • Jasvinder Kaur said:

    Cce is useless because illiterate parents are not able to under stand the performance of their child through this abcd type system . Even students don’t understand their ranking . Teachers can not know all the good and bad points in single period in overcrowded classes . It time consuming and sheer wastage of time of teachers which they can employ in teaching the students with energy which is lost in filling the cce regisers . These cce registers are trash for teachers and students . Lecturers in schools sit and enjoy the plight of junior teachers

  • Abhay Singh Chauhan said:

    continuous and comprehensive evaluation (cce). it has put around -daily studies,endless projects,surprise tests and what is worse according to me is that we can’t speak loudly with each other or crack the jokes just because it may make our impression bad……..

  • Ramanujam said:

    CCE as a concept is ideal and alluring. It is indeed interesting to watch the unfolding of each child minute by minute. Assessing the child in his entirety is good thinking indeed. Like thousands of teachers who looked upon CCE as an answer to the miseries of a learner in the archaic system of schooling , I too welcomed the new system.In 2010-11, CBSE required the descriptive indicators recorded by the teachers in respect of each individual student to be uploaded . The same indicators were mostly reflected in the final assessment sheet. But, in the year 2011-12 , only the grades of PART 2A , 2B and 3A ,3B were required to be uploaded. The descriptive indicators were, through some system, generalised gradewise and reflected in the grades sheet prepared by CBSE. Is it not a retrograde step which runs counter to the spirit of CCE? Can individuality be highlighted in this way? In this case , what is the point of maintaining anecdotal records and profile of achievement?
    I am afraid this is the first step where the spirit is compromised in the face of practicality. It is hightime CBSE approached the ground realities with an open mind and come to a less cumbersome and more workable plan in consultation with teachers teaching cross sections of the student community.

  • somen a. said:

    CCE is good for classes upto Xth standard. But it will not fit for Class XII, because grading system in the final exam. is not suited for NEET UG , and Jee exams.

  • kusum sharma said:

    CCE though it sounds gud 4 students nd teachers both…..bt in reality it’s jst a waste ,especially frm teacher’s side.it’s jst enhancing kinda redtapism,studentz r happy dey dnt hv 2 stdy much….its gud for bright nd slow learnerz avg kids r far away frm scoring gud mks in most of d cases…..in case of teacherz due to xtra burden marks r allotted blindfoldedly….even if teacher dsn’t knw d student he may get an A1…wtz d use…marking was always a better option nd eveluating students more on study base is more preferable……

  • arti said:

    gud mng mam,
    your views are justified and well documented. the reality of indian classroom is very different from what is necessary for sucessful implementation. But the limitation and problems should not act as a hindrance any new endeavour. the need of the hour is not to accept the system as a burden but to make it contextulaay and locally relevant to the needs of the children. the system may be uniform but the processes involved may differ acc ording to the limitations and resources.even the evqaluation of the same may take different form. the decentralistion of the attitude and mentality is the need of hour not the implementation of the systems forcefully.
    Arti Bhatnagar.

  • Rahul baidh said:

    I myself am a student of cce nd i hv been studying in a cce school,which lies in a part of bihar,and to be honest i actually found cce to be disgusting….the main reason is such a drastic change…teachers themshelves dnt knw how to make a student understand any issue…i feel dat teachers shud not just play wid the lyf of students this way….a pupil who used to fail @ every exam is nw enjoying the full advantage of this system…which i fear is not going to help them in their future…somhow the country’s future….and the worst is that teachers give away marks to their beloved students in the formative assesments….i hope this system shud change in coming days so that no more future of a student is spoiled

  • Nitin Hingle said:

    After reading all the veiws, i think reality has changed. Learning takes place when the learner wants to be open to the happenings around him/her. S/He will learn what they see, hear and read. In CCE we as teachers just have to evaluate them honestly.

  • pavan said:

    great contribution very good by meeta mohanti

  • RAVIKUMAR said:

    Students don’t Involve in thinking and time management skills.

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