I recently took my daughter to the hairdressers as she wanted a “dip-dye.” She’s had this done once before but I was particularly impressed with the results this time. I remarked to Helen (our lovely hairdresser) that the graduated effect was particularly striking and looked almost like a natural blending of colour:
Helen then told me that she had been:
- Watching other hairdressers as they dip-dyed and asking them questions about the colours and techniques they used
- Viewing examples on You-Tube
- Practising with several clients
“You’ve been doing AfL” I said. Helen looks at me blankly. “Getting better at dip-dyeing by watching others and practising.”
I was struck by this example of AfL in everyday life; the practice of reflecting on your performance and improving your skills and knowledge by employing the kind of strategies we often draw on in school. However, this example really makes clear that ‘Assessment for Learning’ was the cognitive process going on in Helen’s head, and it was made possible by her belief that learning is an ongoing process. AfL is a way of being.