If you are concerned about education, read Beyond the Tyranny of Testing: Relational Evaluation in Education. Gergen and Gill’s masterful treatise calls for reflection and action. They advocate for a systematic transformation in education. Educators, students, and other stakeholders are invited to change the educational discourse by taking one step— replacing the long-recognized factory metaphor where schools operate as rationally designed assembly lines with an alternative vision that places the relational process at the heart of education. Moving the relational process to the heart of education enables a shift from taking testing as the purpose of education towards regarding evaluation as collaborative inquiry—a continuous formative and multi-voiced dialogue with students and all members of the school community. Evaluation becomes focused on creating learning spaces where individuals are understood as multi-beings with diverse potentials for becoming; where the past does not dictate the future. Education thus becomes a form of liberation. Importantly, the vision and ideas guiding this work are grounded in practices that can be implemented in elementary and secondary schools, as well as teachers’ professional development programs. Gergen and Gill point you toward a path that will help you become both the educator you want to be and the participatory leader every school and community needs in working with others to bring about the schools we desire.
— Rolla E. Lewis, Professor Emeritus, California State University, East Bay— Rolla E. Lewis, Professor Emeritus, California State University, East Bay— Rolla E. Lewis, Professor Emeritus, California State University, East Bay