09 SES 02 C JS, Assessing Intercultural Learning Environments
Joint Paper Session NW 09 and NW 20
Currently Europe is in the midst of a “migrant crisis”, with unprecedented numbers of migrants and refugees hoping to live and work within the EU Member States. Numerous challenges are associated with migrant students’ education, including: settling in periods; racism; early school leaving; students who have a different home language; and general school performance.The present study consists of the second phase of Erasmus + project called “Aiding Culturally Responsive Assessment in school (ACRAS)”)” which is seeking to prioritise the inclusive education of migrant students. There are four partnering countries in the project including Ireland, Norway, Austria and Turkey.
A number of factors have been proposed when looking at the attainment and school experiences of immigrant students, including migrant status (e.g. first generation or second generation), socioeconomic characteristics, age of arrival and language (Martin, Liem, Mok & Xu, 2012). Diversity within schools also impacts assessment scores. Research has found that the proportion of migrant students in school impacts academic performance (Heckmann, 2008; OECD, 2013).
Migration has significantly increased across Europe in recent years, which has made critical the challenge of successfully addressing the demands of a multicultural class on every level of education (Lyons & Little, 2009; Smyth, Darmody, Mcginnity & Byrne, 2009; Travers, Balfe, Butler, Day, Dupont, McDaid, O'Donnell and Prunty. 2010). Advocates of a culturally responsive assessment argue that students of different culture suffer discrimination along the learning assessment process. (e.g., Nelson-Barber & Trumball, 2007; Hood, 1998). Most of the studies on this subject have originated from the U.S., however, it has become a problem also in Europe to make the assessment processes effective for minorities and disadvantageous groups..At this point, the importance of a culturally responsive assessment and how to do it have become critical.
For ACRAS project, participating countries have been selected that have different characteristics in terms of both educational policy and migration model. Thereby, completing the project transnationally is highly important for cultural understandings that can be shared among the program countries as well as for educators to see the commonalities shared in things they face while assessing the immigrant students. Therefore, ACRAS offers an opportunity to identify the commonalities and variances in the challenges of education assessment at schools.
Among the strategies proposed to make a culturally responsive assessment are consequential assessment (Tichá & Abery, 2016), creative assessment (please see Kim & Zabelina, 2015), or multi assessment techniques that indicate the learning levels of the students. (Castagno and Brayboy, 2008; Qualls, 1998). Hood (1998) suggests that performance-based assessments may be culturally responsive if both learning objectives and assessment tasks are combined with the students’ cultural context. In this respect, ACRAS aims to improve the quality and equality of the educational assessment for immigrant students in Europe by providing educators culturally responsive assessment strategies.
The purpose of this study is to present the findings of a school survey created to explore the existing assessment techniques in the context of the cultural responsivity in the partnering countries.
The study employed a concurrent mixed methods analysis in order to analyse existing practices relating to culturally responsive assessment in the partner countries. Phase 1 of the study involved a systematic analysis of the literature around culturally responsive assessment strategies in the partner countries, together with an analysis of literature produced by Supra National bodies such as UNESCO, the OECD, World Bank and in particular the extensive literature on this area from North America. On the second phase of the project, the partnering countries came together to determine the key themes for culturally responsive assessment to create a survey. The survey so created was administered during the 2017 Summer & Fall semester. The research population is comprised of middle school principals from Ireland, Austria, Norway and Turkey. The survey was administered to 369 school principalsin total by random sampling method. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and non-parametric analyses. Analyses were first performed for each country followed by an inter-country comparison. The main themes of the survey revolved around the different strategies used by educators for immigrant students. The survey data was analyzed on country basis using both parametric and non-parametric statistical techniques at the beginning. Survey results were also compared between the countries to find the commonalities and differences regarding culturally responsive assessment practices in the partnering countries.
The purpose of the Erasmus+ funded project that this paper reports on is to tackle an emerging key issue being faced by most European education systems, namely the integration of newcomer students and the narrowing of achievement gaps between those students and the students from the indigenous population. Research shows that assessment is a key component in the success or failure of such students since, unless assessment practices are appropriate to various cultures, they can potentially result in significant – although often unintended -discrimination. This paper will concentrate on providing an overview of the outcome of the survey of existing practices in the partner countries. Similarities and differences found between the countries according to the research findings will be interpreted. A toolkit will be developed that can be used by both the partnering countries in the project and the entire European Union, and perhaps all countries, using the conceptual and application-oriented findings derived as a result. In addition, it will be discussed how to change the in-class practices for immigrant students subjected to standard assessment methods.
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. European Commission (2013) Migrant children more likely to end up in poor schools, EC reports IP/13/323. Heckmann, F. (2008). Education and migration strategies for integrating migrant children in European schools and societies. A synthesis of research findings for policy-makers, 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) Martin, A.J., Liem, G. A., Mok, M. M. C., & Xu, J. (2012). Problem Solving and Immigrant Student Mathematics and Science Achievement: Multination Findings from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Journal of Educational Psychology, 104, 4, 1054-1073. DOI: 10.1037/a0029152 Nelson-Barber, S., and 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 OECD (2013). PISA 2012 Results: Excellence Through Equity: Giving Every Student the Chance to Succeed (Volume II). Paris: OECD Publishing 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, and 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.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
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Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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