In Japan, under the philosophy of fostering children’s ‘zest for living,’ generic abilities such as abilities of thinking, judgment, and expression have been fostered as well as the learning of knowledge and skills. However, several problems have been pointed out. For example, the current Course of Study does not specify qualities and abilities that constitute a ‘zest for living.’ The relationship between the educational goals and content of each subject and the ‘zest for living’ is insufficient (Ikusei subeki shishitsu / noryoku o fumaeta kyoiku mokuhyo/ naiyo to hyoka no arikata ni kansuru kentokai, MEXT, 2014). Under the circumstances, in the new Course of Study in Japan, it is important to present qualities and abilities that students should foster. Then it is important to clarify how they should be fostered in each subject as well as how learning assessment should be. Thereby, one can ascertain the state of development appropriately. Generic qualities and abilities are competencies to solve problems using knowledge and skills that students have learned in subjects. To foster them appropriately, children’s learning outcomes must be evaluated from a perspective not of ‘What they know’, but ‘What they can do.’
For this reason, Department 2 defines qualities and abilities that are fostered in the new Course of Study as creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and meta-cognition. The Department also proposes means of evaluating the competencies in learning of each respective subject as the assessment using rubrics based on performance-based tasks and learning assessment using ICT. To be more specific, we design performance-based tasks, rubrics, and portfolios and create guidelines for assessment through them, with emphasis on the availability at school sites.
To that end, we are conducting two studies in a broad sense. For Study 1 (Performance Assessment Study), we propose specific guidelines on the assumption that performance assessment will be conducted, in terms of evaluating cross-subject qualities and abilities in actual school education that were fostered through AL. For Study 2 (ICT Learning Assessment Study), we propose specific guidelines for methods of portfolio assessment that evaluate cross-subject qualities and abilities using information devices such as tablets.