New demands, changing values: applications of connoisseurship to the assessment of personal qualities and attributes in diverse cultural and educational settings.

New demands, changing values: applications of connoisseurship to the assessment of personal qualities and attributes in diverse cultural and educational settings.

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New demands, changing values: applications of connoisseurship to the assessment of personal qualities and attributes in diverse cultural and educational settings.

Education and employment are changing. New technologies and new working practices, globalisation, and changing markets mean that there is an increasing need for people who are adaptable, willing to learn, enterprising and who are capable of employing a range of transferable skills. Assessment of these and similar attributes requires alternative forms of assessment to those relying on specifications and the production of evidence or on more conventional types of examination. This paper describes the development and application of an approach employing connoisseurship and construct referencing for individual assessments and awards within the Personal, Employability, Achievement, and Reflection for Learning Programme (PEARL) developed with Manchester College of Arts &, Technology, England. Amongst the attributes being assessed are willingness to learn, commitment, dependability, self motivation, team work, communication skills, co-operation, drive and self management. This alternative mode of assessment currently focuses on social mastery in diverse cultural and educational settings and is seen as having the capacity to recognise achievement and encourage involvement in learning, particularly amongst marginalised young people. The maintenance of standards and reliability in this alternative form of assessment is discussed and a case study presented, together with a report and evaluation on applications, outcomes, and future development.

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