Encoded in Numbers – Workshop

The Laboratory of International Assessments will run a workshop on the theme of international educational assessments on the 17th and 18th February 2015 at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. This two-day workshop is intended for MA, doctoral and post-doctoral research students with interests in large-scale programmes of educational assessment (e.g. such as PISA).

The workshop will explore the technical and methodological characteristics of standardized educational assessments, the processes of data production and international educational comparisons. It will provide insider perspectives on the production of educational assessment data. The workshop will also introduce sociological, anthropological and critical policy perspectives on assessment as cultural practice and how assessment data is used in policy and media settings. The workshop will include case-study examples of assessment programmes, and some hands-on analysis of assessment data.

Throughout the two days there will be extensive participatory discussions to develop research agendas on international assessments. The first day, led by Cesar Guadalupe, will focus on the conceptual and methodological foundations of large scale assessments. This will include presentations and discussion on the technical processes and concepts in data production (e.g. sampling procedures, plausible values, Item Response Theory). The after dinner plenary will be given by Professor Mary Hamilton on the politics of representation of literacy as numbers (including semiotics of large scale assessments and media representations).

The second day will include presentations and in depth discussions on the ethnographies of international assessment; on the politics and practices of cross cultural assessments; and on international, standardized commensuration practices from a global governance perspective.

Speakers: Prof. César Guadalupe (University of the Pacific), Dr Bryan Maddox (University of East Anglia) and Prof. Mary Hamilton (Lancaster University), and Dr Camilla Addey.

The workshop is free of charge, but participants are expected to pay for their own costs (e.g. meals and accommodation). The workshop is suited to people who already have a strong interest in the field of international assessments and the measurement of learning outcomes. Participants will be expected to engage in discussions and present their own research ideas and experience.

Maximum 15 participants. To participate, please send a 300 word statement of interest by email to Camilla Addey at c.addey@uea.ac.uk. Your participation will be confirmed on 30th November 2014. A detailed programme will be made available in December 2014.

Encoded in the numbers_workshop

Photo: PIAAC Technical Report, OECD 2013, chapter 7, p18