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Research, Development, and Assessment with Badges: An Equity and Diversity Perspective. Bill Penuel University of Colorado Boulder. A Convergence. Misalignment of accountability tests with valued goals for learning (especially in the workforce)

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research development and assessment with badges an equity and diversity perspective

Research, Development, and Assessment with Badges:An Equity and Diversity Perspective

Bill Penuel

University of Colorado Boulder

a convergence
A Convergence
  • Misalignment of accountability tests with valued goals for learning (especially in the workforce)
  • Growth of non-school settings for learning, especially as a means to reach young people alienated from schools
  • Need for recognition of accomplishments across settings of learning
  • “Unbundling” of functions of schooling through market-based reforms, facilitated by technology
slide3

Risks

  • Risks
    • Growth of badges weakens public schools, and nothing emerges to replace the right to a free, quality public education.
    • Badges become the province of a new monopoly (to adopt the parlance of market-based reformers).
  • Opportunities
    • Reconfiguring education to allow for a greater diversity of pathways for all.
    • Enabling a more complex, robust ecology of learning supports to emerge that enable more just and equitable social futures.

Reconfiguring education to allow for a greater diversity of pathways for all.

Enabling a more complex, robust ecology of learning supports to emerge that enable more just and equitable social futures.

Growth of badges weakens public schools, and nothing emerges to replace the right to a free, quality public education.

Badges become the province of a new monopoly (to adopt the parlance of market-based reformers).

Opportunities

a puzzle
A Puzzle
  • Education is a universal right, but we compel students to take part in it.
  • Choice and interest are key catalysts of development.

How can we organize an equitable system of supports for interest-driven learning that produces no failure?

why organize
Why Organize?
  • Claim: Learning is the collective, concerted effort of people to organize new social futures (O’Connor & Allen, 2010; Penuel & O’Connor, 2010).
    • Organizing highlights the idea that the ends of learning are always contested, not given.
    • A focus on social futures foregrounds the questions: Where are we headed? Where do we want to go? What new futures can we imagine?
    • Focusing on organizing in the badge world means attending to the social and material work of changing institutions
studying learning as organizing
Studying Learning as Organizing
  • Foregrounding values
    • What values inform what learners do in different settings?
  • Highlighting agency
    • What are the scope and limits of participants’ agency to pursue their individual and collective interests?
  • Making explicit the ends (teloi) of learning
    • To what ends are we organizing new systems for recognizing learning? How congruent are those ends with one another?
    • Which ends are recognized, misrecognized, or ignored?
  • Expanding participation in defining the ends
    • Who defines the ends of learning?
    • How can participants become involved in defining those ends?
    • How can participants help define criteria for recognition?

from O’Connor & Penuel (2010)

the route of formal assessment validity arguments
The Route of Formal Assessment: Validity Arguments
  • Requires agreements be negotiated on the ends of learning: But among whom?
  • Requires an evidentiary argument that:
    • Makes clear the claim about what someone knows and can do
    • Marshalls evidence in the form of observations, work products, or other knowledge displays of student
    • Tests models for linking claim and evidence (Pellegrino: what does a collection of badges mean, in terms of inferences about a learner)
natural assessment as recognition
‘Natural’ Assessment as Recognition
  • Recognition is an integral part of identity formation (Erikson, 1968).

Identity formation, finally, begins where the usefulness of identification ends. It arises from the selective repudiation and mutual assimilation of childhood identifications and their absorption in a new configuration, which, in turn, is dependent on the process by which a society (often through subsocieties) identifies the young individual, recognizing him as someone who had to become the way he is and who, being the way he is, is taken for granted. (p. 159)

natural assessment as recognition1
‘Natural’ Assessment as Recognition

How can an open badge system make different forms of participationconsequentialfor subsequent access to and participation in valued social practices?

  • Consequentiality is at the heart of a validity argument.
  • What’s new here is that identity pathways, not knowledge displays on tests, are at the center.
  • Possible requirements
    • Young people’s own pursuits drive the needs for what is recognized, when, and by whom.
    • Badging system that is both open andlocal (DYN example).
    • Badging system should help connect different settings for learning institutionally.
a germ of an idea
A Germ of an Idea…

Connected Learning Research Network