Beyond The Tyranny of Testing

Measurement-based assessment has dominated our educational systems at the expense of the learning and the well-being of students and teachers. In this book, Gergen and Gill propose a radical alternative to this broken system, which is based instead on an inspirational conception of schools as sites of collective meaning-making and a relational orientation to evaluation. The authors acknowledge that it is within the process of relating that the world comes to be meaningful for us, and equally, learning and well-being are embedded in relational process, which testing and grades undermine.

Providing detailed illustrations using cases from pioneering schools around the globe at both the primary and secondary level, this book demonstrates how a relational orientation to evaluation in education can enhance learning processes, foster students’ engagement and vitality relationships, and elevate the evaluation of teaching and the school as a whole. Featuring collaborative learning, dialogic pedagogy, and flexible curricula, relational evaluation truly speaks to the demands of a rapidly changing world.

The book offers a compelling alternative to the measurement-assessment orientation to evaluation that undermines learning and well-being in schools today. It improves on the patchy critiques of testing and grading by offering a coherent account of the historical and cultural assumptions on which the measurement-testing tradition is based. The succinctly-articulated theoretical framework inspires the possibility of a relational approach to evaluation of learning, teaching, and the whole school experience. The concrete, classroom-rooted practices can stimulate discussions among school leaders and policy makers.

Read Introduction Chapter on Oxford University Press

Read Scherto and Ken’s article entitled “Educational Evaluation: A Relational Perspective” in the Sage Handbook

According Patrick Yarker’s BOOK REVIEW published on Forum 60:2. arguments across the book clearly and accessibly made. Overall, the book’s tone is refreshingly optimistic about what is being done around the world to pioneer approaches to educational assessment which are humane, helpful to learner and teacher, and serviceable to society.

See an excellent BOOK REVIEW on SCHOOLS WEEK. According to the Reviewer, “This book is trying to build a picture of what’s possible if we start from a different premise.

full of exciting ideas that have the potential to transform education. Tony Wagner

A most timely and welcome volume. — Prof Sharon Todd, Maynooth University