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Curriculum Corporation Conference Brisbane: 2-3 June 2005. Assessing Social competence: Can and should we be assessing in the Social domain? Susan Pascoe Executive Director, CECV. Overview. Foundations for assessment in social domain System Level Assessment School Level Assessment

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curriculum corporation conference brisbane 2 3 june 2005

Curriculum Corporation ConferenceBrisbane: 2-3 June 2005

Assessing Social competence:

Can and should we be assessing in the Social domain?

Susan Pascoe Executive Director, CECV

  • Foundations for assessment in social domain
  • System Level Assessment
  • School Level Assessment
  • Teacher Assessment

We are selling students short if we are not explicit about the expectations society puts on schools to turn out individuals who are able to thrive in global cultural, economic and environmental orders.


It is through the values we teach, the personal and social attributes that schools nurture, and the generic and work-related competencies inculcated in the curriculum that students can develop as well-rounded citizens and life-long learners.


The absence of an explicit values statement is a value position in itself and is untenable from the perspective of a socially aware community. The absence of shared teacher understandings about expected standards of classroom and school-yard behaviour is an abrogation of professional responsibility….


And the absence of generic and work-related competencies across the curricula of primary and secondary schools is a failure to fully prepare students for life beyond the school-yard. Concomitantly, the absence of assessment and reporting in these areas is a failure to fully understand our professional responsibilities as educators.


UN Declaration of Human Rights

Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

(Article 26)


1996 Delors Report (UNESCO)

  • Learning to know
  • Learning to do
  • Learning to be
  • Learning to live
  • together

Australia’s National Goals (1999)

1.2 have qualities of self-confidence, optimism, high self-esteem, and a commitment to personal excellence as a basis for their potential life roles as family, community and workforce members.


Australia’s National Goals (1999)

1.3 have the capacity to exercise judgement and responsibility in matters of morality, ethics and social justice, and the capacity to make sense of the world, to think about how things got to be the way they are, to make rational and informed decisions about their own lives and to accept responsibility for their own actions.

foundations social capital
Foundations: Social Capital
  • The Wellbeing of Nations (OECD, 2002)
  • Social Assessment Guidelines (World Bank)
  • SA DPC Social Inclusion Unit -> indicators
  • CECV 2004 study into contribution of Catholic schools to community wellbeing.

Just as governments now have the will to commit to social inclusion and to monitor its effectiveness, now school systems and schools have the capacity to commit to all aspects of their mission statements and to monitor their impact on students’ lives beyond the realm of the purely academic.

assessment of social competence
Assessment of Social Competence

Assessment of social competence is assumed to be within formal education settings and aligned to values dispositions, personal and social competencies and generic or work-related capabilities identified in Australia’s National Goals, state curricula, school mission statements or major educational reports.

system level assessment
System Level Assessment
  • MCEETYA PMRT Civics and Citizenship Assessment
  • Cognitive and social outcomes
  • National, Years 6 and 10, student samples
  • Pencil and paper based; centrally developed and scored -> cognitive emphasis
system level assessment1
System Level Assessment
  • WA MSE assessments of social competence: Yrs 3, 5, 7 and 9
  • Teacher observation, self-reporting and response to scenarios
  • Developmental scales on identified continua and marking guides for teachers
system level assessment2
System Level Assessment
  • WA MSE = key aspects of students’ social, moral and ethical development from Yrs 3 – 10
  • Social knowledge
  • Principled behaviour
  • Recognition of different points of view
  • Empathy
  • Perspective
system level assessment3
System Level Assessment
  • VCAA-ACER assessment of generic competencies in Yrs 9, 10 or 11
  • Supported by software to record teacher judgements
  • Cross curricula, shared teacher approach within 3 minute time frame
  • NB Roxburgh Park Secondary College
school level assessment
School Level Assessment
  • John XXIII Corporate Planning
  • Measurement of mission statement
  • Developmental scales eg conscience
  • All students Yrs 8 & 12 and graduates
  • -> ACER Attitudes and Values Questionnaire
teacher assessment
Teacher Assessment
  • Traditional teacher assessment in social domain: parent-teacher interviews, some written reports, references etc
  • Religious and ethical dimensions reported in faith-based schools
assessing in social domain
Assessing in Social Domain
  • Resolve to measure all aspects of schooling
  • Abandon timidity
  • Adopt evidence-based approaches
  • Value social capital