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Assessment as inquiry
|Posted By: Catherine Scott on June 10, 2004|
|This article and responses to it implicitly demonstrate, that is they do so unintentionally, probably of the greatest problem for Western education, which is the lack of agreement over what it, education is FOR.|
Many or most educational decisions will be determined by the decision-maker's implicit beliefs about the purposes of education. Conflict between approaches and criticims of others' ways of doing things are usually generated, not becasue 'the other' does not his or her business, but because different purposes are being served by the techniques chosen.
Following Kieran Egan's insights, we, as educators, are either trying to facilitate the development of individual chidlren (and if so we call our methods 'constructivist'), we are serving the societal functions of socialising children and ranking and grading them for the purpose of their educational and vocational destinations, or we are following Plato and attempting to teach a set curricuum aimed at developing students' intellect and reasoning to the point where they become critical citizens of their society .
These aims are mutually exclusive, as are the educational techniques to which they give rise.