Terms of engagement: Reframing Freirean-based assessment in institutional education
Keywords:assessment, critical pedagogy, Paulo Freire, neoliberalism
Since its publication in 1970, Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed has generated significant discussions on the nature and purpose of schooling. Freire’s theorization of the “banking system” of education, a symbolic relationship in which teachers and students reproduce and perpetuate homogenizing values sustaining antidemocratic initiatives, constitutes one of the major contributions to the field of Educational Studies. In spite of the many critical reformulations and adaptations of Freire’s work beyond its original adult literacy context, those who remain favorable to Freire’s vision of education still struggle to place in motion a pedagogical praxis that is akin to those models envisioned by the Brazilian educator. The understanding of assessment within dominant institutional frameworks favors a positivist and Cartesian logic that quantifies knowledge by devaluing individual variances in learning experiences. This paper analyzes the tensions that arise in the development and application of Freirean-based approaches to assessment within a test-driven educational culture that selectively values information. Accordingly, this paper will also discuss the compatibility of dialogical/constructivist frameworks of assessment within current models of institutionalized education.
Apple, M. (1995). Remembering capital: On the connection between french fries and education. In W. F. Pinar (Ed.), Contemporary Curriculum Discourses (pp. 312-324), New York: Peter Lang.
Aronowitz, S. (1998). Introduction. In P. Freire (Ed.), Pedagogy of freedom: Ethics, democracy, and civic courage (pp. 1-19), New York: Roman & Littlefield.
Au, W. (2009). Unequal by design: High-stakes testing and the standardization of inequality. New York: Routledge.
Blanche, P. (1988). Self assessment of foreign language skills: Implications for teachers and researchers. RELC Journal 19 (1), 75-96.
Dewey, J. (1903). Democracy in education. The Elementary School Teacher, 4.4, pp. 193-204.
Duncan-Andrade, J., & Morrell, E. (2008). The art of critical pedagogy: The promises of moving from theory to practice in urban schools, New York: Peter Lang.
Foucault, M. (1980). Power/Knowledge. Selected Interviews and Other Writings. Ed. C. Gordon. New York: Vintage.
Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. [New York]: Herder and Herder
Freire, P. (1992). Pedagogy of hope, New York: Continuum. P. 66.
Freire, P. (1998). Pedagogy of freedom: Ethics, democracy, and civic courage, New York: Roman & Littlefield.
Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum. P. 49.
Freire, P. (2006). Teachers as cultural workers: Letters to those who dare to teach, 2nd ed., Boulder: Westview Press. P. 127.
Freire, P., & Macedo, D.P. (1995). A Dialogue: Culture, language, and race. Harvard Educational Review, 65 (3), 377-402.
Gatto, J.T. (2002). Dumbing us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling. Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers.
Geeslin, K.L. (2003). Student self- assessment in the foreign language classroom: The place of authentic assessment instruments in the Spanish language classroom. Hispania, 86 (4), 857-868.
Giroux, H.A. (1983). Ideology, culture, and the process of schooling, Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Giroux, H.A. (1988). Teachers as Intellectuals: Toward a Critical Pedagogy of Learning. Westport: Bergin and Garvey.
Giroux, H.A. (2003). The abandoned generation: Democracy beyond the culture of fear, New York: Palgrave Macmillen.
Glass, R.D. (2001). On Paulo Freire’s philosophy of praxis and the foundations of liberation education. Educational Researcher, 30 (2), 15-25.
Keesing-Styles, L. (2003). The relationship between critical pedagogy and assessment in teacher education. In RadicalPedagogy 5 (1). Retrieved 2 November, 2010, from http://radicalpedagogy.icaap.org/content/issue5_1/03_keesing-styles.html
Kohn, A. (1999, March). From degrading to de-grading. In High school magazine. Retrieved March 10, 2011, from http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/fdtd-g.htm
Lian, A.B. (2000). Rationality in education: From a canon-based model toward a process model. Lectures in Critical Pedagogy, Canberra: University of Canberra.
McLaren, P. (2007). Life in schools: An introduction to critical pedagogy in the foundations of education, New York: Pearson.
Oscarson, M. (1989). Self assessment of language proficiency: Rationale and applications. Language Testing 6, 1-13.
Roy, A. (2004). An ordinary person guide’s to empire, Cambridge: South End Press, 2004.
Roberts, P. (1996). Direction and rigor in liberating education. Oxford Review of Education 22 (3), 295-316.
Sadler, D.R. (2007). Perils in the meticulous specification of goals and assessment criteria. Assessment in Education, 14 (3), 387-392.
Stern, S. 2010. “The propaganda in our ed schools. In Minding the campus. Retrieved December 15, 2010, from http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2010/10/the_propaganda_in_our_ed_schoo.html#more.
Taubman, P.M. (2009). Teaching by numbers: Deconstructing the discourse of standards and accountability in education, New York: Routledge.
Yorke, M. (2003). Formative assessment in higher education: Moves towards theory and the enhancement of pedagogic practice. Higher Education, 45 (4), 477-501.
Youngman, F. (1986). Adult education and socialist pedagogy. Beckenham: Croom Helm.
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.