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ERIC Number: EJ919568
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
Culture and Assessment: Discovering What Students Really Know
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v76 n8 p43-46 Apr 2011
This article reports on a work by Sharon Nelson-Barber, formerly the Director of WestEd's Center for the Study of Culture and Language in Education. The center's research focused primarily on how culture, language, and socioeconomic status influence the ways people think and solve problems. More recently, Nelson-Barber has been exploring how cultural background, particularly of indigenous students, may affect performance on large-scale standardized achievement tests and what can be done to make the assessments more accessible and equitable. Assessments that accurately reflect traditional ways of knowing for a specific cultural group can produce richer and more valid results. Nelson-Barber's interest in refining testing goes beyond her belief that culturally sensitive assessments are more valid and fair. She advocates for cross-cultural awareness and competence in assessment and teaching because such understanding sets a more solid foundation for improving student success. "This is much broader than assessment. One must better prepare teachers to understand cultural diversity," Nelson-Barber says. Teachers will be more effective if they ask basic questions about students' cultural backgrounds. How teachers assimilate that information into their instruction "can really make all the difference in moving a child's learning experience forward."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A