Context and Perspective: Implications for Assessment in Education
by Edmund W. Gordon & Emily B. Campbell - 2014
Background/Context: This article is a piece of analytic and descriptive commentary based on the work of the Gordon Commission on the Future of Assessment of Education.
Purpose: The purpose of this essay is to advocate for greater attention given to the correlates of human performance in educational measurement. The authors argue the importance of attribution, context, and perspective as factors influencing human performance.
Research Design: The essay is primarily analytic and historical with respect to the conceptualizations that should guide the contextualization of assessment in education.
Conclusions: (a) Greater respect for and sensitivity to the fact that adaptive behavior is a function of the integration of affective, cognitive, and situative processes operating in conscious organisms functioning in context. (b) Importance of systems of assessment that produce multiple forms of data that should be combined in different constellations for specific purposes. (c) Explicit recognition that decontextualized and situated probes are in fact distortions and the data from such probes cannot legitimately be used for definitive judgment. (d) Emerging electronic digital technologies may provide opportunities for effective assessments of contexts, as well as assessments of adaptive behaviors in context. (e) The documentation of personal attributions and personal perceptions are problematic, though such data are important and must be subjected to systematicity in programs of assessment in education. (f) Formative assessment, portfolio development, and relational analysis.
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