n South African Journal of Higher Education - `Africanising' assessment practices : does the notion of hold any promise?

Special Edition 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Changes in assessment theory and practice have become commonplace in many education systems across the globe. Many of the changes are evident in state education polices, which have implications for the ways in which teachers/lecturers perform their work. Calls have been made for more authentic ways of assessing learning and for assessment to become integral to teaching and learning processes. However, shifts in assessment theory and practice remain largely framed within a Western paradigm and increasing globalisation might lead to greater homogenisation of assessment practices. In this article we examine whether current shifts in assessment theory and practice provides space for accommodating the socio-cultural backgrounds of African learners. We further invoke the notion of <I>ubuntu</I> to explore its potential to provide a more nuanced understanding of authentic/alternative forms of assessment and examine ways in which the idea of <I>ubuntu</I> might contribute to disrupting the hegemony of contemporary assessment theory and practice, given its strong Western base. We specifically will look at implications that the Africanising of assessment might have for teacher education practices in South Africa.

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