With: Susan Bobbitt Nolen
Publication Date: February 11, 2022
Series: Multicultural Education Series
This book addresses a problem that affects the work of all educators: how traditional methods of assessment undermine the capacity of schools to serve students with diverse cultural and social backgrounds and identities. Anchored in a common-sense notion of validity, this book explains how current K–12 assessment practices are grounded in the language, experiences, and values of the dominant White culture. It presents a timely review of research on bias in classroom and large-scale assessments, as well as research on how students’ level of engagement influences their performances. The author recommends practices that can improve the validity of students’ assessment performances by minimizing sources of bias, using culturally responsive assessment tools, and adopting strategies likely to increase students’ engagement with assessment tasks. This practical resource provides subject-specific approaches for improving the cultural and social relevance of assessment tools and offers guidance for evaluating existing assessment instruments for bias, language complexity, and accessibility issues.
Catherine S. Taylor and Susan Bobbitt Nolen are both emeritus professors at the University of Washington College of Education.
“Taylor and Nolen awaken educators’ minds to notions of classroom assessments that are encompassing and that permeate students’ and teachers’ joint participation in creating and fulfilling deeper learning opportunities aligned with targeted standards, yet founded on students’ cultural and linguistic resources. Assessments become tools for learning and critical thinking owned by students that increase their engagement and empowerment in their classroom communities of relevance to their everyday lives.”
—Richard Duran, professor, University of California, Santa Barbara