Panel D.07 — Formative educational evaluation for an inclusive school

Convenors Guido Benvenuto (Sapienza, University of Rome, Italy); Ira Vannini (Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Italy)

Keywords Educational Evaluation, formative assessment, formative Transforming assessment, equity, inclusive school


Educational Evaluation Research (EER) constitutes a broad and complex area of research, characterized by peculiar elements that define it as research-oriented by reference value frameworks, open to interdisciplinary contributions and fundamental for making decisions in the educational field. Research on the dimensions and methods of assessment and evaluation that promote significant learning today allows us to transform learning contexts and environments (Andrade et al., 2019; Dolin et al., 2018). In its connotation of formative educational evaluation (Beeby, 1977; Wolf, 1987; Walberg&Haertel, 1990; Kellaghan&Stufflebeam, 2003), it uses quantitative-experimental research approaches (to guarantee the reliability of the data collected) and phenomenological-qualitative and system approaches (to guarantee the involvement of the system actors in interpreting the data and their use for improvement).

Within EER, assessment issues constitute a central element: the origin of evaluation studies and an essential reference for any analysis of education systems at a micro, meso and macro level. In particular, the perspective of formative assessment (Black et al., 2003; Earl, 2003; Wiliam, 2011) becomes the fundamental focus of in-depth analysis, where we want to reflect on the urgency of more equitable and democratic educational systems. The change in theoretical perspective, supported by research evidence, leads to identifying self-assessment and formative evaluation as essential components of classroom teaching whose results, in addition to improving learning standards, also lead to a better educational relationship. (Wiggins, 1998).

The panel will offer the possibility of collecting national and international contributions with a strong characterization of empirical research, which delves into the central issues of educational evaluation in the context of schools for the different school levels. Legislative changes promote prospects for new evaluation models and strengthen dimensions and approaches of social, critical and intercultural pedagogy. Undeniably, the change in perspective must result from an enrichment of skills for teachers in managing teaching, an enrichment to be placed at the centre of appropriate pre-service and in-service training plans. The improvement of learning in the different levels of education and national and international standards must be seen as a function of investment in training and re-evaluation of education’s social and educational function. Educational institutions that know how to transmit values and systems for self-evaluation, for formative and non-competitive evaluation models will also be the testing ground for an inclusive society (Hattie, 2012). The evidence produced by empirical research and teaching innovations, to be brought up for discussion by the panellists, will help to reflect on the processes of school improvement, on the teaching and evaluation models, with a view to fairness in the system, defence of the right to education for all, through devices and formative assessment systems.


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