EPSE 581 is a special topics course with each offering focusing on a different theme or topic within measurement, evaluation, research methodology, or data analysis. The topic in 2011 is Socio-politics of Educational Assessment.
This is an introductory course on educational assessment designed for masters and doctoral students with little or no statistical training that focuses on understanding educational assessment from social and political perspectives. Technical attributes of assessment will be discussed, but this course is not a measurement course and students who are interested in learning about measurement theory and practice should take EPSE 528.
The course has three main goals:
1) to provide a basic conceptual understanding of essential concepts in educational assessment (such as reliability, validity, and bias) so as to encourage informed critique and use of educational assessment data
2) to explore educational assessment in relation to current issues in education policy and practice, and within socio-political contexts, including:
a) the history of educational assessment
b) the relationship between assessment and pedagogy and learning
c) the relationship between educational assessment and political ideologies and interests
d) the relationship between educational assessment and accountability
3) to foster critical analysis of educational assessment for forward looking problem solving in educational policy and practice, including:
a) understanding and accounting for multiple interests in and perspectives on educational assessment
b) fostering good assessment at the classroom and building level
c) using large scale testing data wisely for educational planning & decision making
d) considering the differential effects of assessment in relation to gender, ethnicity, race, and special needs