BOOKS

Cover of Interweaving Curriculum and Classroom Assessment
Interweaving Curriculum and Classroom Assessment: Engaging the 21st-Century Learner
Susan M. Drake, Joanne L. Reid and Wendy Kiloton. Oxford Publishers, 2014, 240 pages, $34.95
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Reviewed by Judi Laman

I was intrigued by the premise of Interweaving Curriculum and Classroom Assessment. The three authors sought to create a book that links curriculum, instruction and assessment, while fostering a twenty-first-century learning culture. As the authors state, there are many books in education that look at one or two of these components. I found that this book succeeded in incorporating all three concepts.

The first chapter is an overview of curriculum, instruction and assessment. For readers who like to read books in manageable chunks, the first chapter is a fantastic overview of current research in education. The authors cite many of the top books and reference websites for further exploration of topics such as assessment, differentiation and motivation, to name a few. I would personally recommend this first chapter as a must-read for every teacher. From there, the book goes deeper into curriculum, assessment and understanding backward design. The authors introduce a framework of “Know, Do, Be.” Any curriculum in Canada can be divided into this framework. I found this framework very useful and the examples and visuals made it more beneficial.

The rest of the book looks at inquiry and interweaving curriculum as a twenty-first-century teacher. The book does an excellent job of changing and challenging teachers’ approaches to teaching. Teachers interested in exploring student-centred inquiry would definitely benefit from reading this book.

I enjoyed that this book was written from a Canadian perspective. As an Ontario teacher I learned more about how the Ontario curriculum compares with those of other provinces. I was also impressed by the references to current research in the field of education. Any teacher reading this book would walk away up to date on current trends in education. But the most impressive part is the classroom examples provided throughout. There are examples of rich performance tasks, essential question webs, and rubrics that could be used to foster an inquiry approach with your students.

Judi Laman was a member of the Hamilton-Wentworth Teacher Local. She now works in Halton.

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