Panel E.03 — Enhancing Equity and Inclusion through Classroom Assessment

Convenors Serafina Pastore (University of Bari, Italy); Simone Seitz (University of Bozen, Italy)

Keywords Equitable assessment, inclusion, classroom assessment, student learning, teaching practice


Teachers are generally expected to differentiate their strategies and instruments to assess students’ learning and to embed classroom assessment practice with teaching and learning activities (Moon et al., 2020). At the same time, nowadays, the continuous educational policy innovations and the accountability demands entail teachers to change, in culture and practice, their assessment knowledge, skills and dispositions in order to ensure sound decision-making and effective instruction. However, scientific evidence on classroom assessment practices advises that, despite substantial research on how to use assessment results and processes to support and foster student learning (Black & Wiliam, 2010; Rasooli et al., 2019), teachers do not effectively use assessment results and feedback as teaching resources and instruments.

Seeing assessment as a social practice constructing academic achievement within classroom-practice leads to embed it in pedagogical relations (Black & Wiliam, 2010). In this perspective, on the one hand, equity has been recognized as a central ethical issue in assessment including in assessment design, test validity, interpretation of results, access to the curriculum, and opportunities to demonstrate learning (Elwood, 2013; Rasooli et al., 2019); on the other hand, research on classroom assessment practices (especially grading practices) have pointed that teachers introduce implicit biases about non-cognitive factors (i.e., effort, participation, behaviour) into their evaluation of student work. Furthermore, reference is often made to habitual classification problems and hegemonies, constantly confronting students with hegemonic expectations on behaviour and achievement, as well as subjectification demands (Breidenstein & Thompson, 2014; Seitz et al., 2023;).

The post-pandemic effects have, with no doubts, led to recognize how educational equity represents a criticality in school systems. Moreover, as never before, social and emotional dimensions in the student learning have been identified as crucial. Equity and inclusion in the school field have catalysed a growing attention within the pedagogy and the educational debate (United Nations, 2015). Every student should have access to educational resources and rigor they need at the right moment in their education across race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, sexual orientation, family background and/or family income. However, the shapes of equitable and inclusive assessment practice seem to be blurred (Tai et al., 2021).

Challenging current notions of validity, reliability, and fairness the present call for abstracts, aligning with the theme of education and/for social justice addressed by the Third Scuola Democratica International Conference, aims to investigate possible solutions to inform teacher assessment practice, as well as teacher education (pre- and in-service).

Submissions that advance education praxis, research, theory, and policy to inform and engage the public with the debate on equity and inclusion are encouraged. In particular, we seek for submissions dealing with: socio-cultural changes required in classroom assessment practices; critical reflections processes of “doing difference” within assessment classroom practices; assessment solutions to balance accountability aims with student-centred assessment aims; the relationships between national and international large-scale programs and classroom assessment and concepts of teachers’ education for critically reflexive assessment practices.


Guidelines and abstracts submission