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Maarit Rossi

- Paths to Math, Finland
Maarit Rossi was nominated for the Global Teacher Prize 2016 and she was chosen as one of the top ten best teachers in the world
HundrED
Maarit Rossi was nominated for the Global Teacher Prize 2016 and she was chosen as one of the top ten best teachers in the world

Do you think PISA is a good form of pupil assessment?

I think it is one point of view and I wouldn’t exclude it. From my experience of being a principal, PISA made the questions in assessment more versatile. I think it’s good, especially in math. We should be moving forward from mechanical exercises towards more creative options that students may be able to relate to. This is the versatility I think PISA in part has conceived.

That being said, if government education policy is based on PISA results, now that’s a dangerous road to be on.

How should assessment change?

In Finland, we are fortunate to not have the many tests or exams that schooling systems seem to have abroad - that’s where we stand out.

First of all, I want to point out self assessment, which became popularised in Finland in the early 2000s. I think it’s positive not to assess with grades, but rather have the student self assess. Students are very honest and they have very good insight when it comes to their skill level. Another is peer assessment in groups.

I would be extremely careful when adding a technological aspect to assessment in math. I think it’s a waste of time to use it to assess how fast the student can do math or how many answers are wrong or right. We should simply emphasize studying and learning. I prefer qualitative assessment - assessment can be developed when it’s qualitative.

When I teach for a month or two in a classroom, that’s when I don’t need these kinds of measures. I know the students well and I know their skill levels. What technology does do is assist in teaching when I need to personalise the students’ learning.

Content of the interview HundrED