Sunday, 3 August 2008

Reigeluth on assessment, labour organisation and instructional design

Continuing to think about a shift in assessment, not just as a change in thinking about the "best" way to identify student progress, but as a shift in the purpose and philosophy of higher education as an idea and institution.

Of course the staff and students of the 60s and 70s defined the educational philosophies that we've been drawing on in teaching and educational design for some time now.

Take this quote from Instructional Design guru, Charles M Reigeluth, in 1999, Instructional-Design Theories and Models Volume II A New Paradigm of instructional Theory p.18

"When you consider that student assessment has typically been norm based and that teachers sometimes withhold information from students to see who the really bright ones are, it becomes clear that at least part of the reason for standardized instruction has been to sort learners in K-12 schooling, higher education, and corporate training. Standardized instruction allows valid comparisons of students with each other, which was an important need in the industrial age: separating the laborers from the managers. After all, you couldn't afford to - and didn't want to - educate the common laborers too much, or they wouldn't be content to do boring, repetitive tasks, not to do what they were told without questions. So our current paradigm of training and education was never designed for learning; it was designed for sorting."

This suggests that there is a connection between contemporary pedagogy and post-fordist labour organisation. And more.

1 comment:

Hannah Forsyth said...

Geoff Sherington http://apcen.edfac.usyd.edu.au/staff/sheringg/ told me that he has been researching the emergence of exams - and the decline in their popularity. He says there is no evidence whatsoever that implementation of an exam system in the 19th century is attached to industrialised labour organisation. He described it as establishing a "meritocratic elite". He does say that it shifts from a means of recognising talent to become a means of failing people, a sorting process. But there is still no relationship to industrialisation.