Yoga is nothing but practical psychology...Sri Aurobindo Login     Register    Search       
                                        



Recent papers in category Integral

Savitri Immersion Workshop by Rod Hemsell in Menorca, Spain (Apr 12-16), 2017

Savitri Immersion Workshop 2017 by Rod Hemsell in Belgium

Savitri Immersion Workshop by Rod Hemsell, Summer 2016

THE INTEGRAL PARADIGM OF KNOWLEDGE SEMINAR FEB 25-26-27

Winter Courses & Seminars 2016

more posts in Integral

       

Performativity Criteria and Integral Assessment

Author: Rod Hemsell

Last Updated: September 5, 2009

Performativity Criteria and Integral Assessment

Introduction

By performativity criteria we generally mean technological efficiency, standards of excellence, marketability and profitability of products. Work performance is good if it meets these criteria, whether in academia or business. In technologically advanced countries, for example, people expect more efficient cars each year, better roads, faster and cleaner health services, state of the art schools and teachers, etc. If they dont get these things they are unhappy. They are conditioned to expect certain standards of technological excellence.

In India we can easily see that such standards and expectations are becoming more necessary and more feasible. In the developing world, traditional values no longer provide the standards needed to evaluate our life systems. Doing things the way our parents did them no longer works. And at the same time, while conventional expectations are breaking down, many standards of technological excellence may be too costly to achieve, there may not be a sufficiently high level of expertise, and such expectations may be unrealistic. In fact, environmental and economic crises may prevent India from ever achieving the performativity standards of advanced technological societies.

Under these circumstances, we may also recognize that information based systems and norms of performance alone are not enough to take us forward towards a desirable future. The ability to adapt to a complex reality, to make relevant and ethical choices, to think and act creatively and with an inclusive discrimination are also skills that the educational system needs to cultivate in students if they are to achieve a viable future. These skills will require a higher set of performativity criteria, a more integral approach to learning, and a more complex and authentic means of assessment.

Information Based Values - A Critical Perspective

The reason for posing the question of educational values in this way is to create a critical perspective in which to assess our theories and practices. Performativity criteria are based on standards determined largely by the market place and by corporate finance. Schools in the world of advanced technological values and corporate control are supposed to further the values of these domains; preparing students to be consumers as well as purveyors of such values is what will make life meaningful, people happy, and civilization a success. Sociologists and philosophers in the developed societies have recognized these patterns since the 70s, and they are now replicating themselves with renewed vigour in the developing world; a very large percentage of the information conveyed by information based systems, whether educational, scientific, political or economic, is shaped by the values and forces of finance and technology. And such values are often not respectful of our higher human selves and capacities, nor of our connectedness with each other and all of life.

The problematic that I wish to raise is therefore twofold: 1) the worlds of technology and finance must not be allowed to disconnect the minds and lives of students from the five-fold reality of body, life, mind, inner self and spirit, by displacing it with another, flat-screen, virtual reality; and 2) our educational practices must enable students to develop all their capacities, and especially the powers of critical thinking and creative imagination. And I will attempt a unified solution to these problems that employs another rather suspicious activity and terminology: assessment. Well, the bottom line is, if we arent going to simply and blindly accept what our elders, teachers and employers tell us to do, think, believe, feel, then we are going to have to evaluate these things and determine whether they are true, beneficial and meaningful, or not. And to do this we must have criteria with which to judge them.

An educational program that aims to encourage and develop learning for the sake of understanding and knowledge, and individuals who are creative, imaginative, ethical, practical, and respectful of a complex and integral reality, must be able to assess and verify these outcomes. And in order to have these outcomes to evaluate, the initial unit or project design must deliberately create opportunities for such outcomes. In other words, the assessment criteria that we propose at the end also provide us with design criteria going into the design of learning modules. We do not want to simply teach the textual content or access the information, nor do we want to simply pass on outworn formulas; we want to develop creativity, imagination, critical thinking, persuasive speaking and writing, and a strong sense that what is being learned is relevant and meaningful. A 33% pass on a standardized exam isnt going to tell us anything about what we really want students to know.

 

The Integral Assessment Rubric

Now I want to move beyond the critical and theoretical issues, - about which I suppose many of us will agree - and to show you and explain a practical tool that you can use to shape integral educational outcomes in your school. The first step entails a basic attitude of questioning and discovery. We simply ask the student to reflect on the unit we are teaching or on the project being done, by asking: Is it of any practical use or personal benefit? Is it socially or economically relevant? Is it inclusive of different points of view or values? Is it beautiful or inspiring? Does it bring us a sense of peace and joy? Is it meaningful? This is a kind of heuristic approach to prime the student to take interest.

If the lessons and activities dont answer such questions positively, we are probably wasting valuable educational time. So then, how do we build these values into the learning process? First we must be ready to consult the student in the planning of an assignment and try to formulate an enquiry based approach: What can you do to make this project meaningful? How will you show whether this project is relevant either locally or globally to our lives? What skills do you need to develop to make this project worthwhile? What kind of an outcome do you think would show that different values, different approaches to learning, different levels of human potential have been included artistic, economic, psychological, political?

 

Then, an assessment rubric is created, also in consultation with the student if possible, that incorporates specific criteria for measuring these goals and outcomes of the activity.

Example: Writing, Speaking and Research Project - Integral Assessment Rubric

Knowledge and skills assessment criteria

Unsatisfactory

In Progress

Basic

Proficient

Advanced

COMMUNICATION

Conventions:

grammar, punct, etc.

PRESENTATION

logical, sequential,

relevant, etc.

visual illustration

VOICE

clear point of view,

enthusiasm,

confidence, etc.

CONTENT

factual,

theoretical,

contextual relevance,

accuracy, scope, etc.

SOURCES

attribution

credibility

sufficiency, etc.

UNDERSTANDING

scope, depth, etc.

originality

social/moral relevance

MEANING

In relation to previous achievement, present goals, local/global values, personal growth

OTHER

Adding the measurements

Knowledge and skills assessment criteria

Unsatisfactory

In Progress

Basic

Proficient

Advanced

COMMUNICATION

Conventions:

Mostly

Partially

Mostly

Completely

Excellent

grammar, punct, etc.

incorrect

correct

correct

correct

&elegant

PRESENTATION

logical, sequential,

Unconvincing

Partially

Mostly

Totally

World

relevant, etc.

convincing

convin-

convin-

changing

visual illustration

cing

cing

VOICE

clear point of view,

Absent

Partially

Mostly

Consistently

Over-

enthusiasm,

present

present

present

powering

confidence, etc.

CONTENT

factual, real,

rudimentary

elementary

mature

compre-

Exhaust-

theoretical validity,

narrow

simplistic

thought

hensive &

ive

contextual relevance,

irrelevant

low level

solid

important

interviews, surveys

impact

&sound

SOURCES

attribution

No research

Weak

Sound

Thorough

Pulitzer

credibility

evidence

evidenc

accurate

Prize

sufficiency, etc.

evidence

UNDERSTANDING

No light

mostly

Good

Shining

Dazzling

scope, depth, etc.

no interest

borrowed

insight

bright

originality

copied others

light

some

& clear

social/moral relevance

irrelevant

light

MEANING

In relation to previous achievement, present goals, local/global values, personal growth

Lost in

dreamland

Signs of

awaken-

ing

On the

path

Breaking

new

ground

Moon

walking

 

Conclusion

Here is where performativity criteria and integrality in the educational process come together on a higher level than either can attain by itself. When we ask of the learning process and outcome, Is it good?, we mean also Is the outcome meaningful to the student?, Has there been observable progress in relation to previous attainment?, Is the student stimulated to change the world, or at least to understand it better?

If we can see evidence that the student can express clearly the intention of the lesson or project, and finds that it is something interesting, relevant and meaningful

If we can see evidence of an inclusiveness of different approaches, levels, and values

If we can see evidence that the skills, procedures, outcomes, content of the students performance have applicability and relevance in the local or global context

If the skills, interest level, understanding, and personal values of the student have been enhanced and enriched by the lesson or project in a clearly perceptible, measurable way

Then it is likely that the information obtained and used, the technology involved or implied, the students learning, and the time spent in carefully assessing these most worthwhile outcomes will bear fruit in the lives of our students and in the world that they will create.