Relational Orientation to Educational Evaluation

Recently, Scherto had a conversation with Robyn Stratton-Berkessel on shifting from traditional measurement-based assessment in schools from a relational orientation. They touched upon how relational evaluation of the entire school ecosystem can enhance learning processes, students’ engagement and vitality of relationships in primary and secondary classrooms. It flows into the evaluation of teaching and the school as a whole.

In this Podcast, Scherto highlighted collaborative learning, dialogic pedagogy, and flexible curricula as viable alternatives to testing. She concludes that educational evaluation from a relational perspective can truly speak to the demands of a rapidly changing world.

This is connected to Scherto’s other work such as caring in education, as in Gill, S. (2019). “Caring in public education, FORUM: For 3-19 Comprehensive Education, 61:2, 201-208.

Beyond the Tyranny of Testing

Gergen&Gill2020_Beyond-the-Tyranny-of-Testing_Relational-Evaluation-in-Education

This book is the most timely contribution to address our current educational impasse. It leads the dialogue and imagination about a post-Covid world where systemic transformation in education is possible, and where education can nurture the holistic well-being of our students in an inclusive and engaged way.

In particular, the book

  • Offers a compelling alternative to the measurement-assessment orientation to evaluation that undermines learning and well-being in schools today
  • Improves on the patchy critiques of testing and grading by offering a coherent account of the historical and cultural assumptions on which the measurement-testing tradition is based
  • Richly illustrated with school-based examples that inspire the possibility of a relational approach to evaluation of students, teachers, and whole schools
  • Provides concrete, classroom-rooted practices that can stimulate discussions among school leaders and policy makers

See more about the book HERE.

Contact Scherto if you wish to purchase the book using her author’s discount (@50%).

Inclusive and Caring Education

Scherto is currently coordinating a G20 Interfaith Forum’s Education Task Force, a partnership initiative sponsored by the GHFP. She leads a research into Inclusive and Caring Education from a Faith Perspective. The research consists in two parts:

  • a literature review to understand better how religion/faith/spirituality tends to define inclusive and caring education;
  • a questionnaire survey to seek examples and case studies of faith-inspired approaches to inclusive and caring education.

For further information, please read G20-Interfaith-Forum_Edu-Task-Force.

Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”

In her review of Toni Morrison‘s book “Beloved”, Scherto suggests that one of the book’s features be that it allows us to remember the unremembered, and reminds us of the need to face the oppressed collective memories of slavery.  Without embracing these memories, the unremembered continues to hold our societies, and we live simultaneously in the present and in the past.

Scherto says:

Clearly, the unremembered is never forgotten, and they wear different guises today in racism, poverty, and violence, the three evils of structural oppression identified by Martin Luther King Jr.

That unremembered demands to be remembered, is because memories can imprison but also liberate. By remembering, the formerly enslaved can re-acquaint with their bodies once so violated by brutality and torture, and can return to their community, a community from which they once ran away, because it identity was associated with commodity and utility.

Dr King calls this new place of belonging our Beloved Community, built on dignity, mutual respect, and compassion. For Morrison, this Beloved Community must start with listening to unremembered past … because she knew only too well, it is in the remembered that lies seed of forgiveness, redemption, and healing.

Collective Healing

Scherto led a Desk Review research aimed at mapping meaningful approaches to healing the wounds of slavery. The Review draws on a conception of healing wounds that perceives the wound of trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery as systematic dehumanisation. This in turn highlights the imperative of healing as addressing dehumanisation through four processes:

  • Process One is directed at dehumanising acts per se;Process Two is directed at the traumatic effects of being dehumanised;Process Three is directed at the dehumanising relationships; andProcess Four is directed at the structural conditions that enable and have enabled institutionalised dehumanisation.

The report concludes that understanding the significance of collective healing and taking the steps towards healing can be amongst the most powerful ways to eradicate racism.