Diversity in assessment

Less standardisation,
more personalisation

diversity in assessment
diversity in assessment
diversity in assessment
ECSWE promotes holistic learning through personalised and formative assessment.

Our work

In agree­ment with the Euro­pean Parliament’s cri­tique of stan­dard­ised tests in its report, “Fol­low-up of ET 2020” (sec­tion 38, 2016), we insist on the need for per­son­alised and for­ma­tive assessment.

Our advo­ca­cy on this top­ic takes numer­ous forms. As a mem­ber of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion ET 2020 Work­ing Group Schools, for the 2016–2018 as well as the 2018–2020 man­date, we have been active­ly involved in the Euro­pean dis­cus­sion on qual­i­ty assur­ance in edu­ca­tion. In 2017, we con­tributed to the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on the Euro­pean Key Com­pe­tences Frame­work, with our rec­om­men­da­tions,“Towards a human-cen­tred edu­ca­tion: 7 pri­or­i­ties”. Our advo­ca­cy has involved par­tic­i­pa­tion in stake­hold­er hear­ings with Euro­pean insti­tu­tions, and in 2019, ECSWE togeth­er with Learn­ing for Well-being and the Hun­gar­i­an Wal­dorf Fel­low­ship, launched an ERASMUS+ Part­ner­ship on col­lect­ing per­son­alised assess­ment prac­tices.

diversity in assessment
diversity in assessment


It is cru­cial that assess­ment require­ments do not pre­vent inde­pen­dent schools from defin­ing and imple­ment­ing their own cur­ric­u­la. For this rea­son, we demand diver­si­ty in assess­ment and eval­u­a­tion meth­ods, tai­lored to indi­vid­ual schools. Nation­al and region­al gov­ern­ments should only define the frame­work and gen­er­al objec­tives of edu­ca­tion, and give auton­o­my to schools to imple­ment them in a flex­i­ble manner.

1. More personalised and formative assessment

We encour­age the broad­er use of per­son­alised and for­ma­tive assess­ment. These meth­ods include self- and peer- assess­ment, learn­ing through dia­logue, indi­vid­ual feed­back, as well as com­pil­ing learn­ing jour­nals and port­fo­lios. Such forms of assess­ment sup­port a pupil’s devel­op­ment by reflect­ing both their indi­vid­u­al­i­ty and the social nature of learn­ing. They give pupils the oppor­tu­ni­ty to bet­ter under­stand their own learn­ing process and take own­er­ship of their own education.

2. Less standardised and centralised testing

Stan­dard­ised and cen­tralised meth­ods of assess­ment force edu­ca­tors to teach for the sake of tests, and ignore pupils’ indi­vid­ual learn­ing process­es. They also under­mine the free­dom of inde­pen­dent schools to imple­ment their own cur­ric­u­la and assess­ment meth­ods. All in all, they lead to a homogeni­sa­tion of edu­ca­tion that we strong­ly object to.

3. State recognition of independent school qualifications

Stein­er Wal­dorf schools, Montes­sori schools, and oth­er schools with a spe­cif­ic ped­a­gog­i­cal approach, have their own cur­ric­u­la and meth­ods of assess­ment. Pro­vid­ed that the acquired learn­ing out­comes and com­pe­tence lev­els are equiv­a­lent to those of main­stream edu­ca­tion, the qual­i­fi­ca­tions issued by these inde­pen­dent schools should be state-recog­nised. Pupils from inde­pen­dent schools deserve equal access to high­er education.

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