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Can Performance-Based Assessments Contribute to the Achievement of Educational Equity?


by Edmund W. Gordon & Carol Bonilla-Bowman 1996

In the field of assessment, it has been narrowly assumed that since teaching and learning concern the transfer and assimilation of knowledge and skills, the assessment process should sample the pool of that acquired knowledge and skills. This logic seems to be based on the assumption that if one can produce, on demand, evidence of having mastered such assimilated knowledge and skills, one not only knows but can use the knowledge and skill whenever it is required. This basic conceptual model for assessment ignores the fact that the traditional assessment process is also heavily dependent upon the ability of the person being tested to recall and symbolically represent knowledge, and to select iconic representations of skills, on demand in decontextualized situations.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 95, No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 97 Number 5, 1996, p. 32-51
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18788, Date Accessed: 10/22/2017 2:32:11 AM

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About the Author
  • Edmund Gordon
    Yale University
    EDMUND W. GORDON is the John M. Musser Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, at Yale University. He currently serves as Distinguished Professor of Psychology at City University of New York, where he is director of the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean, and professor of Educational Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center.
  • Carol Bonilla-Bowman
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    CAROL BONILLA-BOWMAN is a doctoral student in applied linguistics at Teachers College, Columbia University.
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