Beyond The Tyranny Of Testing: Relational Evaluation In Education

Document Type


Publication Date


Published In

Beyond The Tyranny Of Testing: Relational Evaluation In Education


Practices of assessment in education are byproducts of a bygone era. When testing and grades become the very goals of education, learning suffers, along with the well-being of students and teachers. In this book, the authors propose a radical alternative to the measurement-based assessment tradition, a vision in which schools are no longer structured as factories but as sites of collective meaning-making. As it is within the process of relating that the world comes to be what it is for us, the authors draw from this process their understanding of what knowledge is and what is good and valuable. Equally, learning and well-being are embedded in relational process, which testing and grades undermine. Thus the authors advocate a relational orientation to evaluation in education, emphasizing co-inquiry and value creation. The aim is to stimulate and enhance learning while simultaneously enriching the vitality of the relational process. A wide range of innovations in evaluative practice bring these ideas to life. The authors include detailed illustrations using cases from pioneering schools around the globe, at both primary and secondary levels, demonstrating how evaluation can foster students’ engagement in learning, feed into teachers’ professional development, support whole school improvement, and further nurture learning communities beyond the school’s walls. A relational shift in evaluation also opens a space for the flourishing of interactive and participatory teaching practices and more flexible and co-created curricula. Such a transformation in education speaks to the demands of a rapidly changing and unpredictable world, in which our capacities to listen, dialogue, and collaborate are imperative.


educational evaluation, relational process, radical alternative, pioneering schools, teachers professional development, school improvement, engagement in learning, co-created curricula, participatory pedagogy, collaborative learning

Published By

Oxford University Press

This document is currently not available here.