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A VOICE AND A FORCE FOR LIBERAL EDUCATION

Our research efforts were part of a multisector collaboration that united district administrators, cultural organizations and institutions, philanthropists, government officials, and researchers. Relative to students assigned to the control group, treatment school students experienced a 3. In terms of our measure of compassion for others, students who received more arts education experiences are more interested in how other people feel and more likely to want to help people who are treated badly.


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In terms of school engagement, students in the treatment group were more likely to agree that school work is enjoyable, makes them think about things in new ways, and that their school offers programs, classes, and activities that keep them interested in school. As education policymakers increasingly rely on empirical evidence to guide and justify decisions, advocates struggle to make the case for the preservation and restoration of K arts education. To date, there is a remarkable lack of large-scale experimental studies that investigate the educational impacts of the arts. One problem is that U.

Moreover, the most promising outcomes associated with arts education learning objectives extend beyond commonly reported outcomes such as math and reading test scores. There are strong reasons to suspect that engagement in arts education can improve school climate, empower students with a sense of purpose and ownership, and enhance mutual respect for their teachers and peers.

Yet, as educators and policymakers have come to recognize the importance of expanding the measures we use to assess educational effectiveness, data measuring social and emotional benefits are not widely collected. Future efforts should continue to expand on the types of measures used to assess educational program and policy effectiveness.

These findings provide strong evidence that arts educational experiences can produce significant positive impacts on academic and social development.


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Because schools play a pivotal role in cultivating the next generation of citizens and leaders, it is imperative that we reflect on the fundamental purpose of a well-rounded education. This mission is critical in a time of heightened intolerance and pressing threats to our core democratic values. As policymakers begin to collect and value outcome measures beyond test scores, we are likely to further recognize the value of the arts in the fundamental mission of education.

Brown Center Chalkboard. The Brown Center Chalkboard launched in January as a weekly series of new analyses of policy, research, and practice relevant to U. In July , the Chalkboard was re-launched as a Brookings blog in order to offer more frequent, timely, and diverse content.

What parents and schools need to know about Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)

Contributors to both the original paper series and current blog are committed to bringing evidence to bear on the debates around education policy in America. Authors B. Daniel H. Using formative assessment could thus be a tool to reduce achievement inequalities between different social groups.

When comparing the literatures on formative and normative assessment, one may wonder why the latter is still the mostly used form of evaluation. We argue that support for these two assessment methods relates to the two functions of education. Support for normative assessment would be connected to selection purposes while support for the formative assessment would be linked to educational purposes. At the beginning of this theoretical section we have pointed out that much of the research on assessment has been motivated by the cultural belief that educational institutions should be an engine for social justice; thus, it is now time to discuss the justice principles that might underlie normative and formative assessment in educational institutions.

Indeed, normative and formative methods imply different ways of allocating educational rewards, and different ways of treating the students during the learning process. These different principles of justice would make them more or less suitable to perform the selection and the educational function. The function of selection relies on a meritocratic ideal, whereby individuals are guided toward the position that corresponds to their dispositions.

Historically, testing and graded exams were developed by measurement experts and psychologists to provide quantitative tools to a society based on individual merit Lemann, ; Carson, The meritocratic ideology implies that rewards are allocated equitably, based on individual motivation, talent and hard work Son Hing et al. The equity-based principle of justice is highly prevalent in school contexts and in particular in grade allocation Sabbagh et al. Interestingly, students share the idea that grade distribution should be guided by an equity principle Jasso and Resh, ; Sabbagh et al.

The perceived reliance of normative assessment on the equity principle would explain why this method seems highly relevant to enact the function of selection. On the contrary, the educational function would discourage the idea that assessment should establish an equity principle of justice. The discouragement of the equity principle by educational purposes should relate to a perception of normative assessment as being an inadequate method. By contrast, formative assessment was developed with a view to improving the learning of all students.

Reducing the gap between individuals who are unequal at the beginning of the pedagogic action is central to the rationale for implementing formative practices. These are framed as tools to institute a principle of corrective justice that ensures equality Perrenoud, ; Dubet and Duru-Bellat, ; Crahay, It should be noted that equality in this case is not defined as the exact same treatment of all individuals during the learning process but as the equality of outcomes at the end of the learning process, obtained by a differentiated treatment of individuals as a function of their needs.

Formative assessment is thus grounded in two egalitarian principles of justice: equality and need. Formative assessment precisely aims at enabling such adjustments Black and Wiliam, : by giving learning opportunities adapted to each student, formative practices ambition to erase the original disparities in competence.

All students should attain a high level of competence, and this level should be unrelated to their initial amount of skills. Ultimately, equality of outcomes would be established. The equality and need principles of justice established by formative assessment fit the educational function of schools stating that all individuals should attain a certain level of skills and knowledge.

On the contrary, the corrective justice inherent to formative assessment makes it incompatible with the function of selection. The need principle implies to identify individual differences but with the purpose of reducing them rather than using them to rank and attribute credentials. The ultimate principle of equality of outcomes is undifferentiating and cannot lead to selection. Previous research has shown that normative and formative assessments contribute to respectively accentuate and attenuate social inequalities.

In order to understand the support for these two assessment methods, we investigate how it relates to the selection and educational functions of educational institutions and justice principles. Firstly, we hypothesize that believing in the function of selection should be positively associated to the support for normative assessment practices.

Introduction

We expect this relationship to be mediated by the perception that normative assessment follows an equitarian principle of justice. Secondly, the belief in the function of selection should be negatively associated to the support for formative assessment practices. Thirdly, the belief in the educational function of education should relate to more support for formative assessment, this being mediated by a higher perception of its reliance on the need and equality principles of justice.

Fourthly, the endorsement of the educational function should be negatively associated with support for normative assessment, through a negative relationship with the equity principle. To test our hypotheses, we administered a questionnaire measuring beliefs in the selection and the educational function of educational institutions, support for the normative and the formative assessment and the extent to which each assessment method follows each of three principles of justice i.

Social Foundations of Education

One hundred and forty nine students enrolled in political science at a French-speaking Swiss university took part to the study. They voluntarily completed the questionnaire at the end of a regular class. This research was conducted in compliance with the declaration of Helsinki. Participants were first asked to imagine that they were secondary school teachers and, to commit them to this role-play, they had to list their supposed daily activities as a teacher.

Then they had to fill in, on seven-point scales, a questionnaire developed to measure the functions of the educational system 1. Three items referred to its function of selection e.

Introduction: inclusive ideals and practice

Participants were presented with similar items to assess their perception of the selection vs. The second part of the questionnaire started with an explanation of the normative assessment method illustrated with a graded test. Participants read that this method is based on grades that reflect the number of right and wrong answers. Participants then evaluated this assessment method on seven-point scales. Nine items assessed the justice principles three items for each principle. Participants rated the fit of the assessment method with the equity principle e.

Finally, four items estimated the overall support for the method. In the third part of the questionnaire, the formative assessment method was described and an example of a test with comment-based feedbacks was presented. Participants read that formative assessment is based on formative comments. Participants filled in the same items measuring the three justice principles and the overall support for the method.

The order of the second and the third part of the questionnaire was counterbalanced. Relations between the perceived function of education, the justice principles followed by assessment methods and the support for these methods were estimated using structural equation modeling SEM analyses performed with the Lavaan package in R Rosseel, First, confirmatory factor analyses CFA were used to identify the best-fitting measurement model.

Then SEM examined the relationships among the latent variables and tested the specific hypotheses. The measurement model was identified by fixing the non-standardized factor loading of one of the indicators per latent variable to one. Well-fitting model is suggested by a SRMR value below 0.

The sample size did not allow testing a model including all our variables. Our hypotheses imply that we investigate the relationship between the perceived functions of education and both the perception of the normative assessment, and the perception of the formative assessment. Consequently, we conducted separate analyses on the functions of education, the perception of normative assessment and the perception of formative assessment.

The expected four-factor model, consisting of the selection and educational function of the educational system and the selection and educational function of teachers, showed a covariance matrix that was not positive definite. Considering the similarity between the two sets of items, the two sets were integrated in a single variable referring to the function of selection of education. Such covariance can be explained by the substantial content overlap among the items.

The correlation between the two pairs of error terms were added to the model one at a time, which significantly improved the fit i. We hypothesized four latent variables, referring to the three principles of justice and the support for the assessment method.

New evidence of the benefits of arts education

We inspected MI to assess whether the fit could be improved. The values indicated residual covariance of the item Equa3 with several other items. Given the multiple covariance, we decided to remove it, which improved the fit BIC of These items refer to the same dimension of support. We tested the four-factor model i.