As the quote says, “Fairness, the rights of all concerned and professional ethical behavior must brace up all student assessment activities,” (as cited in McAfee & Leong, 2007). Concerning the public, equality and rights is a big issue; perhaps, an important factor in sustaining life. It is most likely to happen that without such things in man’s society, everything will be in chaos; the public will always be fighting for it. Nevertheless, today’s public regulation is not disregarding such issues. There are many agencies for difference fields – of which education is one – that continually seeks ways on how to meet all the rights of each individual in the society. Education for instance, also involves the rights of students – together with their families; educational authorities should make sure that the needs and rights of all people involved are met accordingly. Moreover, even with regards to educational activities inside the school’s system, equality should also be prevalent among them. However, there is a possibility that in making an assessment, human bias can become prevalent, somehow making the assessment untrustworthy and inaccurate. Thus, certain factors should be included in the process, in order to prevent such thing.
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According to the article Assessing and Guiding Young Children’s Development and Learning, Chapter 2, the first assertion is upon the right to equal protection under the law. The example mentioned in that section is the “special education”. By its nature, special education is given to those children who have higher intellectual capacity and greater learning capability than other children. However, only a few are given this kind of education. Children who do not pass the assessment – whether they are qualified to have such education or not – are brought into lower academic treatment. This is in fact, a discrimination act upon the children – perhaps, upon the family itself. With regards to the assessment of children, the rights of these young and their families for good and highly-proficient education should not be held back from them; rather, as other people desire to have special educational, then these children should be able to have it as well. Another concern of this right is the gender and race discrimination in other schools. Although some like boys more than girls or vice versa, and some like white people more than black people, equal legal rights should be given to them accordingly. Even with regards to physical disabilities and other disadvantages of children, appropriate treatment should be fairly given to them. Special means like some clinical treatments should be given to meet such needs of each young individual. Each government should be providing “equal educational opportunity to all citizens within its jurisdiction” (Jacob, Decker, & Hartshorne, 2010). Now with regards to assessment of children for such cases, it should be confidential. Any person doing such assessment, whether these children will be in special educational system of not, should be careful not to hurt the child or the family. But still, rights for good education should be given.
There are, of course, more factors involved in assessing children in respect to education. Aside from the gender, intellectual maturity, race, and physical conditions, other things like cultural differences, economic status, family values, and language fluency are also included in assessment. Economic status of families, for example, is also a great factor included in the assessment process. Studies show that family income is a good predictor, determining who will or will not “remain in school regardless of a student’s ability.” (Johanningmeier, 2009). Another factor is cultural diversity of children. Behaviors and actions of students in classrooms are also defined by their cultural upbringing; thus a cultural difference is also one concern included in the assessment. Nevertheless, there are considerable implications for assessment.
It is indeed worthy to take in consideration that assessment should be done in a ways that is sensitive to diversity. In every aspect, judgments are most possibly done with human bias. Therefore, those who are involved in assessment of children in respect to their education should be careful enough to prevent such possibility.
One implication of assessment is being objective as possible. There are many times that people are often tending to make lists of standards of their own. Much worse than this, those who make assessment use such standards to every individual they are assessing. However, it is by nature that not everyone is the same as everybody else. Thus, raising the call for equality, assessment factors should always be objective, rather than subjective. But there must also be a balance regarding this issue. As one writer says, “the law is full of inequalities of treatment on the basis of objective status despite the existence of subjective status which could somehow qualify others for equal treatment” (Heinze, 2003).Being objective in educational assessment, especially in evaluating what appropriate classroom procedures and instructional practices should be implemented, is for the purpose of being “flexible” for any diversity. Setting a one-for-all standard will not be the best for educational systems, since students come from different cultures, families, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Lastly, assessment information should have the assurance of accuracy and trustworthiness. There are mainly three aspects that must be covered in an educational assessment: the content aspect, the substantive aspect, and internal structure aspect. These traditional concepts for assessment were also suggested by Messick (as cited in Joughin, 2008). But among any of the aspects involved in the assessment, the most important is the influence of the assessment upon education itself (Joughin, 2008). Measuring the reliability and accuracy of the generalization of the educational assessment, “results to a broader domain of competence” (Joughin, 2008). Such assessment, when done right, is considered a great success.
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