What does cultural diversity in relation to assessments mean to you?
What factors need to be considered?
• How can consideration of diversity benefit the learner?
• What are the challenges?
Whilst reading Maori Approaches to Assessment, I found myself identifying with the principles and approaches that the Te Whariki Early Childhood Curriculum advocates, 'that children" grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society" (Rameka, 2007).
The underlying principle here is that all children will grow up and integrate under the guidance of the bi cultural curriculum into this modern society no matter what their cultural diversity is, e.g. ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, differently-abled, etc.
Within the pre-school curriculum the concept of the inter-woven mat as an analogy recognises the importance of respecting the language, culture and knowledge of the individual and using portfolios to illustrate their growing skills and knowledge while actively participating in their own learning.
Using this concept as a guide to constructing assessments it is important to give a variety of choices to our learners helping them to integrate into the group using team based activities drawing on the strengths of each individual in different situations. Analyse the most effective way of assessing for each situation ensuring it meets all of the values e.g. authentic, fair, transparent, etc.
If diversity is considered then there will be choice within the curriculum for the learner to explore their own method of being assessed, if the learning process has led them to that point .
The challenges are relying on the facilitator to try, test and try again if the processes are not working, something we are all doing all the time.