Research on Teaching & Learning
In his research on what contributes to the most significant gains in student learning, educational researcher and professor John Hattie's 2009 meta-study, Visible Learning, found that direct teacher instruction and high expectations were the most powerful influencers on student achievement. Our teachers and our program are designed to maximize student learning.
At TASIS Portugal, teachers utilize our content-rich and sequential curriculum to set learning intentions and success criteria, which are clearly communicated to students. Exemplars, or models, are used to demonstrate expectations. Teachers use formative assessment methods to monitor student learning and provide feedback. We believe that teachers should use their professional training to decide how to best reach every child, and provide them with a complete and comprehensive curriculum to which they adhere.
Early Literacy = Key to Success
TASIS Portugal believes that early literacy ensures future academic success. Acclaimed researchers E.D. Hirsch, Jean Chall, Diane Ravitch, and many others conclude that a student’s reading level in third grade will dictate their academic achievement in high school. Our Core Knowledge curricular approach ensures high levels of literacy in reading, writing, and speaking. The same can be said for our Singapore Math approach to learning mathematics. Singapore Math has been established as the best mathematics preparation program, based on international test results (PISA and TIMSS).
TASIS Portugal assesses students frequently and uses these measures of student achievement to inform parents of their children’s progress, as well as to assess the effectiveness of its teachers.
Our school also uses a balanced classroom assessment system that is effective in measurement and is purposefully planned to maximize student learning. The end goal of assessment is to assist learning, not just to measure it. Assessment is frequent and focused on gaining insights into the learning of students.
We use summative assessments at the end of a unit or at the end of a school year. Assessment as learning helps students take more responsibility for their own learning. Assessment of learning is a summary of what a student has learned over that period.
Students join TASIS with a background from many different countries and educational systems. Standardized achievement tests provide invaluable information to inform instruction. TASIS Portugal, like other TASIS schools, uses MAP testing (Measures of Academic Progress) for students in grades 1-8 annually. NWEA, the test developer, has more than 9500 partners in 145 countries and is validated by more than 40 years of research. MAP data helps to identify and plan for whole class curricular needs and individual student needs. NWEA uses anonymous assessment data from over 11 million students and results can be used to measure growth over time in a consistent manner. The results directly inform content and skills students are ready to learn.
Students sit external examinations in high school beginning with the IGCSE at the end of grade 10 and eventually the IB.
Please note that TASIS Portugal is a Candidate School for the Diploma Programme. TASIS is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that TASIS believes is important for our students. *Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme (DP), or the Career-related Programme (CP). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit www.ibo.org