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Beyond the Tyranny of TestingRelational Evaluation in Education$
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Kenneth J. Gergen and Scherto R. Gill

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190872762

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190872762.001.0001

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Education as Relational Process

Education as Relational Process

(p.26) 2 Education as Relational Process
Beyond the Tyranny of Testing

Kenneth J. Gergen

Scherto R. Gill

Oxford University Press

Replacing the assessment orientation requires an alternative to the idea of schools as sites of production. To do so, the authors challenge the conception of schools as composed of individual actors whose performance can be measured independently of their lodgment in the social world. They argue that our understandings of the world, along with our ways of life, come about within a process of relating. It is out of coordination among participants that beliefs, values, and meaningfulness of actions originate. Thus the process of co-creation is essential to knowledge, understanding, and learning. Significant distinctions are drawn among various forms of relational process, with contrasts between conventional conversations (valuable in sustaining tradition) degenerative interchange (leading to the destruction of meaning-making) and generative relating (that inspires innovation and enriches relationship). Measurement-based assessment practices in education foster alienation, suspicion, self-centeredness, and an instrumental orientation to relating. Vitally needed is the development of a relationally enriching orientation to evaluation.

Keywords:   co-creation, coordinated action, meaning making, generative dialogue, degenerative dialogue, constructing meaning, relational process

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