The politics of evidence assessment under the spotlight at inaugural

13 May 2014


Bronwen Cowie. Questioning the curriculum:   Professor Bronwen Cowie

What counts as evidence of student success, for whom and for what goal – are questions all educators need to be asking in this current climate, says University of Waikato Education Professor Bronwen Cowie.

The globalisation of curriculum 

Citing PISA, the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment, Professor Cowie considers the influence of one-size-fits-all global testing regimes and whether they work for New Zealand students and teachers. “It is a concern that government responses to such results can be to narrow the curriculum and methods used to generate evidence of learning,” she says.

Focusing on student-teacher classroom experience, Professor Cowie notes that New Zealand educators have worked hard to ensure what they teach and assess considers the local cultural context and knowledge of the learner. The ‘globalisation of curriculum’ based on economic-driven forces threatens such initiatives, says Professor Cowie.

Raising questions 

Professor Cowie hopes her upcoming Inaugural Professorial Lecture “The politics of evidence: Assessment agenda,” will raise contentious questions for educators interested in the agenda driving current educational decision-making.

Professor Cowie is the Director of the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research based in the Faculty of Education, University of Waikato. Her Inaugural Professorial Lecture is on Tuesday 20 May at 6pm at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato, Gate 2B, Knighton Road, Hamilton. 

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