Towards general capabilities through technology : assessment for learning as a field of exchange

Connolly, Stephen (2011) Towards general capabilities through technology : assessment for learning as a field of exchange. In 2011 Australasian Curriculum, Assessment and Certification Authorities Annual Conference : Assessment For Learning in the 21st Century, Australasian Curriculum, Assessment and Certification Authorities, Novotel Brisbane Centre, Brisbane, QLD.

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The introduction of the Australian curriculum, the use of standardised testing (e.g. NAPLAN) and the My School website have stimulated and in some cases renewed a range of boundaries for young people in Australian Education. Standardised testing has accentuated social reproduction in education with an increase in the numbers of students disengaging from mainstream education and applying for enrolment at the Edmund Rice Education Australia Flexible Learning Centre Network (EREAFLCN). Many young people are denied access to credentials and certification as they become excluded from standardised education and testing. The creativity and skills of marginalised youth are often evidence of general capabilities and yet do not appear to be recognised in mainstream educational institutions when standardised approaches are adopted. Young people who participate at the EREAFLCN arrive with a variety of forms of cultural capital, frequently utilising general capabilities, which are not able to be valued in current education and employment fields. This is not to say that these young people‟s different forms of cultural capital have no value, but rather that such funds of knowledge, repertoires and cultural capital are not valued by the majority of powerful agents in educational and employment fields. How then can the inherent value of traditionally unorthodox - yet often intricate, ingenious, and astute-versions of cultural capital evident in the habitus of many young people be made to count, be recognised, be valuated?Can a process of educational assessment be a field of capital exchange and a space which crosses boundaries through a valuating process? This paper reports on the development of an innovative approach to assessment in an alternative education institution designed for the re engagement of „at risk‟ youth who have left formal schooling. A case study approach has been used to document the engagement of six young people, with an educational approach described as assessment for learning as a field of exchange across two sites in the EREAFLCN. In order to capture the broad range of students‟ cultural and social capital, an electronic portfolio system (EPS) is under trial. The model draws on categories from sociological models of capital and reconceptualises the eportfolio as a sociocultural zone of learning and development. Results from the trial show a general tendency towards engagement with the EPS and potential for the attainment of socially valued cultural capital in the form of school credentials. In this way restrictive boundaries can be breached and a more equitable outcome achieved for many young Australians.

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ID Code: 48878
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Assessment, Assessment for learning, Assessment for learning as a field fo exchange, Bourdieu sociology, sociocultural theory
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development (130202)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 [Please consult the author]
Deposited On: 28 Feb 2012 22:10
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 05:56

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