During recent decades every province and territory in Canada has focused, in some way, on assessment in the service of student learning. While policies and practices vary, this intense focus has resulted in numerous changes across Canada. The first pan-Canadian Symposium on Assessment 2014 gathered 36 invited guests. There were delegates from almost every province and territory, including representatives from the Council of Ministers of Education, Ministry of Education from every jurisdiction, Superintendents Associations, Council of Deans of Education and others gathered together to engage in dialogue and to interact with the delegates to the International Symposium.
After a traditional welcome by Imelda Perley, a Maliseet elder and greetings by Dr. Ann Sherman, Dean of Education, University of New Brunswick, the symposium began with a uniquely Canadian beginning as Dr. Bondar, Canadian astronaut and fabulous keynote speaker, joined us for the opening on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.
On Wednesday, April 9, Canadian delegates learned about international initiatives and research. There were presentations from international teams and individuals about current work underway in the area of classroom assessment and assessment for learning research, policy developments, and professional learning initiatives. Work underway in countries including Australia, Canada, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States will be included.
As the symposium evolved Canadian delegates with each other, under the leadership of Sandra Herbst, to share current initiatives in their jurisdiction, learn about successful implementation projects in Canada and other parts of the world, and engage in dialogue with both Canadian and international colleagues.
On Friday, April 11, 2014, in the evening, the Canadian Delegates joined 250 other educators for a one and a half day conference titled, “Assessment for Learning: Canada in Conversation With The World.” This conference, hosted by the University of New Brunswick, began on the evening of Friday, April 11. The first plenary session was titled, “Assessment for Learning: Has the Warranty Run Out?” It was held in both English and French with simultaneous translation being provided.