09 SES 10 B, Challenges in Educational Assessments (II)
Parallel Paper Session<br /> Joint Session with NW 13
My presentation addresses a topic in evidence-based practice (EBP) and the “what works” agenda, namely the role of stability of learning environments. The background is as follows: Worldwide today the notion of standardized procedures is much discussed in different professions, e.g. education, medicine, special needs education and social work. While standardization of procedure is not an entirely new topic, it has taken on a new seriousness in recent years. This is due to the growth of EBP and the concomitant growth of a new form of organization, generally known as Clearinghouses, whose job it is to review and synthesize research about “what works”, and on the basis of such reviews make recommendations for practice – that is, propose standardized procedures or instruction methods. Stability of learning environments is a necessary condition for predictable and reliable goal attainment; if an environment is unstable goals may not be reached due to the messiness and unpredictability of the situation. Now doubt standardization of procedures can contribute to affording the learning environment its needed stability. My question is whether the stability of an environment at some point becomes counterproductive because it imposes to tight restrictions on the possibilities that are present, and in fact may jeopardize the educational enterprise.
Criticisms of standardized procedures usually focus on professional judgment and how it is undermined by such standardization; generally because standardized procedures are thought to imply that teaching is reduced to (more or less) mindless rule-following. My perspective is different; however I recognize the importance and force of those criticisms. I employ system theory, where stability and flexibility are seen as mutually presupposing each other. Thus, I use the twin concepts to analyze how flexibility in certain parts is vitally necessary to keep the fundamental system stable. While standardized procedures of instruction may contribute to stability of the environment, they may also, paradoxically, curb the very flexibility of teaching that is needed to keep the fundamental educational system stable, for example by imposing severe restrictions on what both teachers and students can do. The system may then lose its identity as an educational system.
Bateson, G. (1972): Steps to an ecology of mind. New York: Ballantine Books Biesta, G. (2007): Why ”what works” won’t work: Evidence-based practice and the democratic deficit in educational research. Educational Theory 57, 1, 1-22 Hammersley, M. (1997): Educational research and teaching: a response to David Hargreaves’ TTA lecture. British Educational Research Journal 23, 2, 141-161 Hammersley, M. (2009). What is evidence for evidence-based practice? In: Otto, Hans-Uwe; Polutta, Andreas and Ziegler, Holger (eds), Evidence-Based Practice - Modernising the Knowledge Base of Social Work. Opladen: Budrich Hargreaves, D. (1996): Teaching as a research-based profession: possibilities and prospects. Teacher Training Agency Annual Lecture, London Hargreaves, David (1996b): Educational research and evidence-based educational practice – a response to critics. Research Intelligence, No.58 (Nov. 1996), 12-16
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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