20 SES 12 B JS, Challenges to Measurement and Assessment in Inter- and Multicultural Education
Joint Paper Session NW 09 and NW 20
This paper reports on the second phase of an Erasmus + Project titled “Aiding Culturally Responsive Assessment in Schools (ACRAS) ” which is seeking to prioritise the inclusive education of migrant and minority students in four European countries: Ireland, Norway, Austria and Turkey”.
Across Europe immigration has dramatically increased in recent years and the challenge of successfully addressing the demands of a diverse multicultural classroom is taxing educators at all levels of the educational spectrum in individual countries (e.g. Irland: see Lyons & Little, 2009; Smyth, Darmody, Mcginnity & Byrne , 2009; Travers, Balfe, Butler, Day, Dupont, McDaid, O’Donnell, & Prunty, 2010) as well as across Europe (e.g. European Commission, 2013) and internationally (e.g. OECD, 2015). Research suggest that ethnic minorities may suffer discrimination through the modes of assessment of learning (e.g. Nelson-Barber & Trumball, 2007; Hood, 1998). The effects can be particularly significant when the assessment tests knowledge, competence and ability at a point of transition which determines future life paths. Most research in this field comes from the US, however it is becoming increasingly clear that making assessment environments effective for minorities and disadvantaged groups is a pressing issue in Europe.
One way of coping constructively with this situation is making assessment practices more culturally responsive which is exactly the goal of the ACRAS project which has chosen a diverse range of participating countries, both in terms of educational policy and patterns of migration. Consequently, completing the project transnationally is crucial in terms of the cultural insights that can be shared between programme countries and also to see the commonalities in issues that educators are facing when assessing migrant students.. According to a report conducted by the European Commission (2013), Ireland, Norway and Austria have policies which provide supports for newly arrived migrants in different ways. It also outlined that Norway and Austria have similar migration flows; while Turkey and Ireland are facing new educational challenges due to the more recent increase in immigration. Moreover, Ireland receives a large number of economic migrants from English speaking countries – e.g. UK and US – who do not necessarily face the same types of linguistic challenges (European Commission, 2013) while Turkey is receiving many asylum seekers and refugees. Therefore, ACRAS provides an opportunity to identify commonalities and differences in the challenges of educational assessment in schools. Instead of a “one size fits all” mentality ACRAS wants to develop methods of culturally responsive assessment which allow for differentiation and the contextualisation of learning in a culturally appropriate manner.
Strategies which have previously been proposed for creating culturally responsive assessment include using locally validated formative assessments (Tichá & Abery, 2016), the addition of creativity assessments (see Kim & Zabelina, 2015) or utilising multiple methods of assessment to provide additional opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning (Castagno & Brayboy, 2008; Qualls, 1998). Hood (1998) suggests that performance-based assessments can be culturally responsive if both the learning objectives and assessment tasks are created with an awareness of students' cultural context. It is in this context that ACRAS is seeking to improve the quality and equity of educational assessment for migrant students in Europe by providing culturally responsive assessment strategies to educational professionals.
This paper aims to present the findings of a literature research in the partner countries in order analyse the existing approaches to assessment in the context of their cultural responsiveness.
Castagno, A. E., & Brayboy, B. M. J. (2008). Culturally responsive schooling for Indigenous youth: A review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 78, 941–993. doi:10.3102/0034654308323036 Eddy-Spicer, D., Ehren, M., Bangpan., M, Khatwa, M., & Perrone, F. (2016). Under what conditions do inspection, monitoring and assessment improve system efficiency, service delivery and learning outcomes for the poorest and most marginalised? A realist synthesis of school accountability in low- and middle-income countries. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, University College London. European Commission (2013). Migrant children more likely to end up in poor schools, EC reports IP/13/323. Hood, S. (1998 b). Culturally responsive performance-based assessment: Conceptual and psychometric considerations. The Journal of Negro Education, 67(3), 187–196. Kim, K. H., & Zabelina, D. (2015). Cultural Bias in Assessment: Can Creativity Assessment Help?. The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 6(2): 129-147. Lyons, Z. & Little, D. (2009). English Language Support in Irish Post-Primary Schools: Policy, challenges and deficits. Dublin: TII, Trinity College. Nelson-Barber, S., & Trumbull, E. (2007). Making assessment practices valid for indigenous American students. Journal of American Indian Education, 46(3):132–147. OECD (2015). Global Competencies for an Inclusive World. Paris: OECD Pawson, R. (2006). Evidence-based policy: A realist perspective. London: Sage. Pawson, R., Greenhalgh, T., Harvey, G., & Walshe, K. (2005). Realist review: A new method of systematic review designed for complex policy interventions. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy 10, 21-34. Qualls, A. (1998). Culturally Responsive Assessment: Development Strategies and Validity Issues. The Journal of Negro Education, 67(3), 296-301. Smyth, E., Darmody, M., Mcginnity, F. & Byrne, D. (2009). Adapting To Diversity: Irish Schools And Newcomer Students (Dublin: The Economic And Social Research Institute) Ticha, R., & Abery, B. (2016). Beyond the Large-scale Testing of Basic Skills: using formative assessment to facilitate student learning. The Global Testing Culture: shaping education policy, perceptions, and practice. Travers, J., T. Balfe, C. Butler, T. Day, M. Dupont, R. McDaid, M. O’Donnell, & A. Prunty (2010). Addressing the Challenges and Barriers to Inclusion in Irish Schools, Report to the Research and Development Committee of the Department of Education and Skills. Dublin: St Patrick’s College, Special Education Department. Wong, G., Greenhalgh, T., Westhorp, G., Buckingham, J., & Pawson, R. (2013). RAMESES publication standards: Realist syntheses. BMC Medicine 11: 21. http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1741-7015-11-21.pdf (accessed 7 June 2014).
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