Measuring What’s Valuable… at the TEESNet annual conference 2016

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Having recently attended the TEESNet Annual Conference 2016 at Liverpool Hope University, one of CAT’s dedicated Education Officers Deirdre Raffan summed up her experiences from the day…

The TEESNet  (Teacher Education for Equity and Sustainability) event at Liverpool Hope University, Measuring What’s Valuable or Valuing What’s Measurable? Monitoring and Evaluation in ESDGC, was well attended with a range of interesting speakers and workshops.

Of particular interest was the opening speaker Annette Scheunpflug from the University of Bamberg discussing the meaning of measurement. Some things can be measured objectively but others, such as what is chosen to be measured, will always be subjective. She linked this to the intention of PISA (Program for International Student Assessment), which has previously tested 15 year old students across the world in Maths, Literacy and Science but is now looking at devising a “Global competencies” test. Annette discussed a concern about how valuable this test would be across the world’s huge cultural and economic differences and a concern about how results may be interpreted.

Another speaker, Michael Stevenson, a PISA advisor, highlighted that what PISA were looking at would particularly focus on intercultural sensitivity. His piechart showed 20% would be about the environment and sustainability, 20% about conflicts and human rights, 20% socioeconomics and interdependence and 40% about culture and intercultural relations. After questions he suggested that the “global competencies” title may change. There was discussion around the difficulty of making sure this was a valid test, measuring what was wanted, as well as deciding what was wanted.

A session called “How do we know it’s working?” focused on a toolkit pack of the same name, using interactive activities from it that got us all discussing aspects of Global Citizenship. I look forward to finding more time to study the pack we were given, which had over 40 activities. Flicking through I found one based on using CAT’s resource Where’s the Impact to think about the impact of a bottle of water.

A session right at the end by Ann Finlayson encouraged the range of organisations at the conference to not just collect the metrics required for funding bodies but to consider the stories they have about impact and transformational change. She encouraged input to UNESCO around sustainable development goal 4-Quality education.

The day was stimulating, thought-provoking and went too fast,  so I emailed the organisers to consider a residential TEESNet next time, at CAT of course!