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Evaluation and Assessment as Healing: Towards Culture-Based Paradigms of Care
Injury and illness. Anger, hostility, and destruction. Disregard, disrespect, and dishonesty. Betrayal. As scholars, practitioners, and as global citizens, we are surrounded by toxicity in ways that can make the ideals of CREA appear unattainable. Yet we embrace and embody the belief that people from distinct cultures can live together harmoniously, and that culturally responsive evaluation and assessment can offer guidance toward a more just future.
The theme of CREA VII both acknowledges the pain and challenges us to engage in a culture-based paradigm of care that uses evaluation and assessment to promote healing and transformation. A culture-based paradigm of care guides us to understand culture and context, learn from and with communities, support actions toward health and healing, and seek effective ways to create more responsive environments for individuals, groups, and communities.
Adopting a stance of care seeks to identify and avoid evaluation and assessment practices that demean or otherwise harm stakeholder groups. For example, the ground-breaking AERA publication on Fairness in Educational and Psychological Testing (Jonson & Geisinger, 2022) raises critical issues about the alignment of culturally responsive assessment with nurturing and cultivating talents and strengths vs. obscuring or pathologizing them. Finally, caring demands reflection upon our practices and their impact on current and historical contexts and authentically occurring, context-specific experiences.
This theme is timely and expansive, leaving room to address healing people, healing the environment, and healing our systems and institutions. For example, this theme examines how evaluation and assessment can be viewed through a lens of care when applied to issues of:
- Indigenous and minoritized populations
- Educational and psychological assessment
- Environmental land policies and practices
- Public health policies and practices
- Civic Engagement
Jonson, J. L., & Geisinger, K. F. (Eds.). (2022). Fairness in Educational and Psychological Testing: Examining Theoretical, Research, Practice, and Policy Implications of the 2014 Standards. American Educational Research Association. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv2kzv0fw