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Cadernos CEDES

Print version ISSN 0101-3262

Abstract

CABRITO, Belmiro Gil. Assessing quality in education: assessing what? How? Why?. Cad. CEDES [online]. 2009, vol.29, n.78, pp. 178-200. ISSN 0101-3262.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-32622009000200003.

Speaking of quality in education certainly centres our discourse on a central issue of public education policies. However, we should recall that assessing quality is an economic concept imported into education and take epistemological precautions when it comes to our matter. If we give in to the measurement temptation, we tend to forget the specificity of the educational processes and facts, which are always unique and original and hardly fit in any framework aimed at measuring objectives, even when those are partly financial. After reflecting on the meanings of assessment in the current context, this paper argues that initiating an assessment process in education entails thinking critically about both the measurement process and its underlying aims. In fact, one has reasons to doubt that any assessment is benevolent since this seldom an innocent process usually originates competition, rivalry and discrimination, thus reproducing social exclusion and inequality.

Keywords : Assessment; Higher education; Education and quality.

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