Assessment Rubrics

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In the 1970s teacher training institutes taught that teachers who merely give grades are not looking more carefully at the student’s academic abilities and, more importantly, the student’s active relationship to the taught material. The assessment rubric rose in popularity as a result of this movement in mainstream teacher training. As a result, more and more teachers began to use portfolio and rubrics as a way to assess the progress of students in their classes. Rubrics name certain phenomenologically based skills such as, “Child understands the relationship between addition and subtraction and applies this understanding in word problems.” Usually the teacher then “rates” the child’s skill level on a scale of “emerging skill” through to “learned skill”. These rubrics serve as an addition to the most effective and valuable practice already well established in Waldorf schools, the end of the year narrative report.

Bonnie River, M.Ed.

Editor’s Note: Bonnie River of Gradalis has developed Waldorf Curriculum Standard and Assessment Rubric for grades 1-8. It is in use in Waldorf schools in North America, and is available for purchase through Gradalis. An excerpt of this document is provided here (See: Sample of Curriculum Standards and Assessment Document). Additional information on the development of this product and purchase information can be obtained at

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