Globalization and Its Impact on Assessment: Moving Toward a New Story
Globalization has resulted in large-scale international and local assessments closely tied to notions of accountability and competitiveness in a globalized economy. Although policy makers seek to ensure citizens meet the demands of a global knowledge-based economy, such assessments may also impede the development of requisite 21st century skills. While standardization currently is viewed as the most effective measurement of student achievement, several Canadian and international jurisdictions are moving toward assessment for learning (AfL). This conceptual study sought to identify whether AfL or standardized assessment most effectively meets 21st century learning goals in the wake of rapid global change. It applies a Story Model theoretical framework to understand the current, the new emerging, and the future ideal story of education from a personal, cultural, and global lens. The study examines the main critiques and/or challenges of standardized testing, the benefits of AfL for student learning, and new teaching and assessment approaches to the development of 21st century learning goals. The study applies the Story Model’s inside-outside/past-future approach to determine the future direction of assessment. Results show that the new story of assessment will most likely entail a model that integrates both standardized testing and in-class assessments in the form of AfL and PBL.