What types of methods do we frequently use in assessment? What quadrant would they fall in?Why is it important to understand epistemology?How do you decide what assessment methods to use?How should we incorporate our epistemological understanding to design better assessments?
Epistemology What is knowledge? How is knowledge acquired? What is the way of knowing? The underpinnings or assumptions about what knowledge is or how it is acquired. There are multiple ways of knowing and most research focuses on just one.
EpistemologicalContinuum Objective vs Subjective Objective- Universal and tangible explanations, one Truth that can be found and generalized to explain Subjective- socially constructed answers, truth is relative Order vs Conflict Order- explain society as it is, create understanding, maintain status quo Change- purpose is to create understanding to help promote change in society
Influences on TheoryRadical Humanist Change Radical Structuralist Postmod & Poststructure Critical TheorySubjective Feminist Objective Theory Social System Theory Rational Behavior TheoryInterpretive Order Functionalist Burrell & Morgan, 1979
Exploring AlternativeApproaches Policy is an enactment of values and is not value neutral. Policy is a means of exerting social control and alternative. Focus on bias and distribution of power between policymakers and policy targets. Critical approaches push towards desired change Pose different research questions Often use different methodologies Different role of researcher
Alternative Approaches toPositivism Critical theory Focuses attention on structural, ideological and cultural features to understand power Feminist perspective Critical, but organized around women’s experiences Postmodernist Constructs of reality as situated in specific times and spaces
Critical TheoryAssumptions Educational policies can institutionalize social inequities by reinforcing dominant social values. Traditional policy analyses represent incomplete realities and problems Actions/research should seek to change existing inequalities
Feminist TheoryAssumptions Place the social construction of gender at the center of inquiry because it is the principle that shapes people’s lives Analysis of differences, local context, and specificity Various ideological positions Liberal, cultural, power and politics, postpositivist, critical feminist
Postmodern Assumptions Centers on reconceptualizing how we perceive, experience and understand the construction of knowledge Power influences discourse in construction and dissemination of knowledge Rejects generalizations Analysis focuses on multiple forms of data and interpretations
PoststructuralistAssumptions Attention to language within the research process The role of the researcher is center to how research conducted Research results are a construction of the researcher
Assessment Methods QQ Radical Humanist Change Radical Structuralistu u Postmod & aa Poststructure nl ti Critical Theoryt Subjective Feminist Objective i Theory Social System Theory ta Rational Behavior at Theory ti iv Interpretive Order Functionalist ve Burrell & Morgan, 1979 e
Assessment Methods Qualitative Participants describe in their own words, not generalizable Open-ended questions, focus groups, interviews, document analysis Quantitative Measurement of constructs, generalizable Survey, existing data set