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In order to allow children to learn basics and fundamentals, and to develop "Academic Ability" including abilities to learn and think on their own, which are objects of the new Courses of Study, it is extremely important for each school to evaluate the learning status of each and every child even more carefully than before for utilization in teaching, as well as to strive for substantiation of individual teaching.
As to evaluation, in view of appropriately evaluating learning status of individual children, evaluation of learning status per viewpoint (basically four viewpoints: "interest / motivation / attitude"; "thinking / judgment"; "skills / expression"; and "knowledge / understanding") has been conducted up till now by evaluation based on how far the objectives provided by the Courses of Study have been achieved (so-called absolute evaluation). In evaluation under the new Courses of Study, this approach is further emphasized, and rating in which items in grades/years and in classes were evaluated in the light of how far the objectives provided by the Courses of Study have been achieved (relative evaluation with absolute evaluation taken into consideration) has been revised to evaluation based on how far the objectives provided by the Courses of Study have been achieved (so-called absolute evaluation).
In order for the evaluation based on how far the objectives provided by the Courses of Study have been achieved to be further established and to be utilized fully in student credentials for the upper secondary school entrance examination, it is important for the base of evaluation at each school to be even more clear and reliable than before and to be objective enough for explanation to parents of children, etc. At present, boards of education and schools are making unified efforts to improve objectivity of evaluation.
In view of supporting these approaches, the Government has also prepared and published "Reference Material for Ingenious Improvement of Evaluation Criteria and Methods" on primary and lower secondary schools at the National Institute for Educational Policy Research Curriculum Research Center in February 2002, and will prepare a commentary for this reference material in FY 2002.
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