Unveiling Participative Assessment : A Critical Examination.

Trehan, Kiran (2002) Unveiling Participative Assessment : A Critical Examination. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Participative forms of assessment occupy some unusual education territory. In addition to challenging conventional canons of academia, they offer the potential to generate insights into individual and group behaviour in a crucial area of educational practice. The problems of assessing traditionally taught courses has attracted considerable attention. Much of the evidence points to the inadequacies of the procedures and approaches currently used in management education. The view that appears to be emerging is that traditional assessment methods encourage a narrow, instrumental approach to learning that places the emphasis on the reproduction of what is presented at the expense of critical thinking, deep understanding and independent activity. Participative assessment is often advanced as a corrective to the instrumentalist tendencies of traditional methods. However, much of this response is also dominated by the advocacy of techniques and procedures. Little attention is accorded to more fundamental underpinning processes. The intention of this thesis is to highlight problematic propositions for alternative, more participative approaches to assessment and consider the complex political and social dynamics of student groups of mixed age, gender, ethnicity and experience, and the ways these processes are implicated in assessment - particularly its more participative versions. The thesis provides first an overview of alternative assessment practices, their rationale and their influences from participative pedagogies more generally. Secondly the thesis questions the assumption that such approaches actually empower the students who take part in them, and explores the significance of social differences encountered during the process of participative assessment. Thirdly the thesis looks at the implication for participative assessment practice and the role of tutors, particularly in the context of more critically disposed educational designs. It is argued that this critical treatment of the literature and research will deepen academic theorising and knowledge. By illuminating social and power relations embedded within participative forms of assessment, it will be possible to present a more contextual and processual account than the idealistic prescriptions that have dominated the study of this vital educational practice.

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Thesis (PhD)
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02 May 2019 16:35
Last Modified:
25 Mar 2024 00:01