Module 2: Martha Attridge Bufton

Learning assessment policies and procedures: Canada
For Module One, I focused on online sources that would introduce me to the area of culturally responsive assessment and the approaches being used in different but relevant educational jurisdictions. For Module Two, I decided to identify some resources related to policies and procedures that are currently be in place in Canada. I also looked for similar resources in other jurisdictions (e.g., Australia). Finally, one of our classmates mentioned Universal Design for Learning in a post this week (Week 5) and, in following this thread began to reflect upon the use of this framework for developing culturally responsive assessment, so I have included the CAST (Centre for Applied Special Technology).

Aboriginal education in British Columbia
This website includes a brief general statement on broad goals of Aboriginal education in BC. There are also links to resources for educators and administrators that have been developed by a number of school districts. There are links to various curricular documents as well as materials on reconciliation, anti-racism and other related research. The document Aboriginal worldviews and perspectives has a number of references to assessment including student self-assessment and student-generated criteria for assessment. A closer reading is needed to determine if such approaches are standard across curricula or specific to working with Aboriginal students.

Aboriginal education (Manitoba)
This site links to a number of curricula documents that could prove useful. While there is no prominent section related specifically to assessment, some of these documents do refer to assessment practices. In particular, the Grade 12 Current topics in First Nations, Metis and Inuit studies guide has a number of references to assessment including holistic teaching and assessment. This discussion and definition could enhance my understanding of how assessment is done in different educational systems.

CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology)
The researchers at CAST are the pioneers of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). I am new to UDL but as per the statement on the CAST website:

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a research-based set of principles to guide the design of learning environments that are accessible and effective for all … UDL informs all of our work in educational research and development, capacity building, and professional learning.

The site provides links to many resources (including publications) as well as the National Centre for Universal Design for Learning, which in turn provides links to training tools (e.g., videos on UDL), research and resources. After taking an initial “tour,” I did a search in the Carleton University Library catalogue for books by David Rose, the CAST founder, and Amazon. I found several books related to UDL and diversity that I think will help me understand if this framework can be used to develop appropriate assessment tools for Aboriginal students. My main question at this point is, “Is there such as thing as a culturally University Design for Learning?”

Federation University Australia Assessing Indigenous learners
Federation University Australia is located in Victoria, Australia. This particular web page contains the institutional policy for assessing Aboriginal and Torres Strait learners. This policy includes as number of interesting and significant features such as using “appropriately qualified Indigenous assessors” and providing feedback “sensitively.” This approach will be interesting as a model/benchmark for comparison with other models. In addition, as the policy has been developed to assess university students, it could be particularly relevant to developing assessment tools for the teaching I do with First Nations, Metis and Inuit undergraduates at Carleton.

Ontario Ministry of Education: Indigenous education strategy
This site outlines the policy framework for supporting First Nations, Metis and Inuit students in elementary and high schools the province of Ontario. The textual information is brief and the page seems to have been last updated in 2009. However, there are links to two documents including the full First Nation, Metis and Inuit Education Policy Framework. My preliminary reading of the framework indicates that assessment is integrated into the policy and that assessment is defined not just as meeting provincial standards but also reflecting Aboriginal cultural perspectives. As such, the framework is evidence that culturally responsive assessment is a priority (although I will have to do further research to determine whether assessment tools have been developed and are being used).

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