Students participate in conferences to facilitate the knowledge acquisition process and identify themselves in the educational environment. Information transfer is a key component, with formative conferences analyzing student performance and summative conferences collecting and reporting information (Chappuis & Stiggins, 2020). Along with different purposes of conferences, several types of performances may be developed in classrooms to deal with discomfort and unfamiliar situations and encourage effective learning.
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Types of Conferences
Feedback conferences analyze a student’s learning progress and determine further steps to successful skill mastery. Students receive assessments about their performance and possible improvements and, as well as teachers, offer feedback about each other’s work at school, while parents may offer their opinions at home. This type is efficient when students have a chance to receive a proper evaluation of their strengths and directions for further improvement. Goal-setting conferences detect the student’s level of knowledge and establish the desired purpose of action.
Focus on growth has proven to be more effective and motivating than attention to scores or given challenges (Darling-Hammond et al., 2019). These activities promote understanding students’ intentions in learning. Progress conferences are organized to share educational accomplishments and changes over time (Chappuis & Stiggins, 2020). Academic growth is the focus of such meetings to be compared to the before and after learning status.
Achievement status conferences are usually organized by teachers to involve parents in examining students’ accomplishments and grades. The purpose of these meetings is to uphold cooperation and mutual discussions of learning processes. Showcase conferences require the demonstration of the knowledge students have acquired so far. Students express their agenda and goals and answer the questions of those present at such meetings. Finally, intervention conferences have the purpose of highlighting possible flaws and eliminating them. Teachers discuss with parents educational and behavioral problems and develop successful methods for solving them (Minero, 2018). Making use of records and background information is effective assistance in covering all the instances.
Varieties of Performances
There are six main types of performances that may be an outcome of a learning process. Specific responding implies the necessity to formulate detailed responses to particular situations by making connections between different things (Joyce et al., 2015). Chaining introduces several responses that are linked to come to one concrete solution and achieve the desired goal.
Multiple discrimination is based on the already obtained knowledge and requires analyzing the two above-mentioned types of performance to understand the most appropriate response (Joyce et al., 2015). Classifying makes it possible to divide objects into classes and define their functions, supporting the possibility of conceptualization in education. Rule using is a type of performance when students choose a concept and decide on necessary action. Finally, there are problem solving activities when learners apply several rules to deal with a problem. Balance and thorough evaluation are the major characteristics of this type of performance.
Awareness about all these types of performances and conferences is critical for teachers and students because of their relation to the concepts of discomfort, unfamiliar situations, and disequilibrium. According to Joyce et al. (2015), instead of matching teaching approaches, it is necessary to expose students to new modalities. Discomfort is an opportunity to pass on feelings and discover new strengths and powers for learning. It is normal to use discomfort and unfamiliar situations because they help break barriers and deal with fears. Disequilibrium is a symbolic impulsion to change, and the creation of specific situations that cause discomfort is the best method to make students act, think, and make decisions.
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In general, the field of education is constantly changing, and it is important to know and apply new methods of cooperation. In today’s learning environments, teachers may organize six different types of conferences and benefit from six varieties of performances. Sometimes, students are not ready for particular tasks and fail to meet academic expectations. However, discomfort and unfamiliar situations should not be regarded as challenges or negative aspects of education but as a critical part that promotes disequilibrium and encourages growth in student learning.
Chappuis, J., & Stiggins, R. (2020). Classroom assessment for student learning: Doing it right—doing it well (3rd ed.). Pearson.
Darling-Hammond, L., Flook, L., Cook-Harvey, C., Barron, B., & Osher, D. (2019). Implications for educational practice of the science of learning and development. Applied Developmental Science, 97–140. https://doi.org/10.1080/10888691.2018.1537791
Joyce, B., Weil, M., & Calhoun, E. (2015). Models of teaching (9th ed.). Pearson.
Minero, E. (2018, October 6). 5 strategies for a successful parent-teacher conference. Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/article/5-strategies-successful-parent-teacher-conference