Evaluating learning outcomes: In search of lost knowledge

O'Brien, S. and Brancaleone, D. (2011) Evaluating learning outcomes: In search of lost knowledge. Irish Educational Studies, 30 (1). pp. 5-21. ISSN 03323315 (ISSN)

[img] Text
O'Brien and Brancaleone 2011.pdf

Download (345kB)
Official URL: http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0...

Abstract

This paper examines the concept, pervasive policy and practice of learning outcomes, as increasingly adopted and officially supported in third-level educational institutions. It begins by outlining the context and development of learning outcomes from European and Irish educational policy perspectives. We go on to explore how learning outcomes present and legitimate new knowledge forms through a particular ideological construction. The main theoretical insights that appear to inform the epistemic and pedagogical rationale for learning outcomes are critiqued, revealing hidden assumptions behind their conception, organisation and delivery. Managerialism is shown to act as a significant technology of governance in the ensuing process of cultural change. An authoritative presentation of knowledge remains central to this reconstruction of educational culture, though this is challenged by experiences of third-level teaching and learning. Specifically, critical discussion draws attention to significant gaps in knowledge domain, learning and teaching quality. Engagement with teacher colleagues, and experiences of working with third-level learners, provide a concrete object of study in which to ground our analysis. It is hoped that the theoretical and empirical insights presented will help frame and contest, within a European-wide perspective, current ideological debates on learning outcomes in education. In particular, we wish to highlight what appears to be the central paradox of learning outcomes the pervasive presence of what we call 'lost knowledge', that is to say, significant epistemological and pedagogical insights that remain hidden and inarticulate in the learning outcomes paradigm. In finding a value and place for such 'lost knowledge', the validity of this paradigm is seriously questioned. © 2011 Educational Studies Association of Ireland.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cited By :7; Export Date: 23 February 2015; Correspondence Address: O'Brien, S.; University College CorkIreland; email: s.obrien@ucc.ie; References: Apple, M., (1982) Cultural and Economic Reproduction In Education Essays On Class, Ideology and the State, , London: Routledge and Kegan Paul; Apple, M., (1986) Teachers and Texts a Political Economy of Class and Gender Relations In Education, , New York and London: Routledge and Kegan Paul; (1983) Ideology and Practice in Schooling, , Apple, M., and L. Weis, eds., Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press; (2009) Background Paper for the Leuven Ministerial Conference, , http:www.ond.vlaanderen.be/hogeronderwijs/bologna/conference/documents/Beyond_2010_report_FINAL.pdf, Background Paper; Badiou, A., (2004) Infinite Thought: Truth and The Return to Philosophy, , London: Continuum; Ball, S.J., Comprehensive schooling, effectiveness and control: An analysis of educational discourses (1998) Discipline and Schools, , Ed. R. Slee. London: MacMillan; Bauman, Z., (2007) Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty, , Cambridge: Polity Press; Bloom, B., Engelhart, M., Furst, E.J., Hill, W., Krathwohl, D., (1956) Taxonomy of Educational Objectives Volume I: The Cognitive Domain, , New York: McKay Publishers; Bloom, B., Masia, B., Krathwohl, D., (1964) Taxonomy of Educational Objectives Volume II: The Affective Domain, , New York: McKay Publishers; Bourdieu, P., (1977) Outline of a Theory of Practice, , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; (2008) The Shift to Learning Outcomes: Conceptual, Political and Practical Developments In Europe, , CEDEFOP, The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities; Clarke, J., Newman, J., The managerialist state power (1997) Politics and Ideology in the Remaking of Social Welfare, , London: Thousand Oaks; Dawson, W., (1998) Extensions to Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, , Sydney: Putney Publishers; Densmore, K., Professionalism, proletarianization and teacher work (1987) Critical Studies in Teacher Education Its Folklore, Theory and Practice, , Ed. T.S. Popkewitz. London, New York and Philadelphia, PA: The Falmer Press; Donnelly, R., Fitzmaurice, M., Designing modules for learning (2005) Emerging Issues in the Practice of University Learning and Teaching, , Ed. G. O'Neill et al. Dublin: AISHE Publication; du, G.P., (1996) Consumption and Identity at Work, , London: Thousand Oaks; Eagleton, T., (2003) After Theory, , London: Penguin Books; (2007) Proposal for a Recommendation of the European Parliament and Of the Council on the Establishment of the European Framework For Lifelong Learning, , European Commission, Brussels: European Commission; Foucault, M., (1969) The Archaeology of Knowledge, , London and New York: Routledge (2007 edn); Foucault, M., (1997) The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences, , London and New York: Routledge; Freire, P., (1996) Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed, , New York: Continuum; Freire, P., (1998) Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage, , York and Oxford: Lanham and Boulder; Gosling, D., Moon, J., (2001) How to Use Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria, , London: SEEC Office Publication; Hall, S., Race, culture and communication: Looking backward and forward at cultural studies (1992) Rethinking Marxism, 5 (1), pp. 10-18. , Cited in Without guarantees: In honour of Stuart Hall, Ed. P. Gilroy, L. Grossberg, and A. McRobbie. London and New York: Verso; Jackson, P.W., Life in Classrooms (1968), New York: Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, IncJay, M., (1993) Downcast Eyes: The Denigration of Vision In Twentieth-century French Thought, , Berkeley, CA: University of California Press; Lomba, C., Beyond the debate over 'post' vs. 'neo' Taylorism: The contrasting evolution of industrial work practices (2005) International Sociology, 20 (1), pp. 71-91; Long, F., Protocols of silence in educational discourse (2008) Irish Educational Studies, 27 (2), pp. 121-132; (2001) After Postmodernism: An Introduction to Critical Realism, 3, p. 21. , López, J., and G. Potter, eds., London: Atholone; Lyotard, J.F., (1979) The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, , Manchester: Manchester University Press (1984 edn); Meadows, S., Children learning to think: Learning from others? Vygotskian theory and educational psychology (1998) Education and Child Psychology, 15 (3), pp. 134-140; Moon, J., (2002) The Module and Programme Development Handbook, , London: Kogan Page; Murray, J., Learning outcomes and the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (2006) NQAI Information Seminar, , http://www.ucc.ie/en/qpu/loc/presentations/DocumentFile,15077,en.pdf; Oakshott, M., (1967) Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays, , London: Methuen; O'Brien, S., What is learning and how does it work? 'Learning to learn' lessons for the adult facilitator (2006) Learning to Learn' Lessons for the Adult Lecturer and Tutor, , Ed. S. O'Brien. Cork: Centre for Adult Continuing Education Publication; O'Sullivan, D., (2005) Cultural Politics and Irish Education since the 1950s Policy Paradigms and Power, , Dublin: IPA; O'Sullivan, D., Turning theory on ourselves: Some resources and constraints for adult educators (2008) The Adult Learner 2008, pp. 13-32. , Dublin: AONTAS; Ozga, J., Part of the union: School representatives and their work (1987) Teachers: The Culture and Politics of Work, , Ed. M. Lawn and G. Grace. Lewes: Falmer Press; Ozga, J., Lawn, M., (1981) Teachers' Professionalism and Class, , Lewes: Falmer Press; Ozga, J., Lawn, M., Schoolwork: Interpreting the labour process of teaching (1988) British Journal of Sociology of Education, 9 (3), pp. 323-336; Popkewitz, T., Lindblad, S., Educational governance and social inclusion: Some conceptual difficulties and problematics in policy and research (2000) Discourse Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 21 (1), pp. 5-44; Pruijt, H., Repainting, modifying, smashing Taylorism (2000) Journal of Organizational Change Management, 13 (5), pp. 439-451; Rauhvargers, A., Deane, C., Pauwel, W., (2009) Report From Working Groups Appointed By the Bologna Follow-up Group to The Ministerial Conference In Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve, pp. 28-29. , http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/hogeronderwijs/bologna/conference/documents/Stocktaking_report_2009_FINAL.pdf; Redmond, B., (2007) Learning Outcomes Moving from Teaching to Learning, , Information Seminar on the Bologna Process, 'Writing Learning Outcomes', 13 December 2007, Dublin; Robertson, S., Strip away the bark, expose the heartwood, Get to the heart of the matter: Re-regulating teachers' labour in New Zealand (1999) New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 34 (1), pp. 121-132; Rose, N., (1999) Powers of Freedom: Reframing Political Thought, , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Schutz, A., (1974) The Structures of the Life world, , London: Heinemann Educational Books; (2007) Report From a Working Group Appointed By the Bologna Follow-up Group to The Ministerial Conference in London, , http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/londonbologna/uploads/documents/6909-BolognaProcessST.pdf, Stocktaking Report; Strain, M., Field, J., On the myth of the learning society (1997) British Journal of Educational Studies, 45 (2), pp. 141-155; Vygotsky, L.S., (1978) Mind and Society: The Development of Higher Mental Processes, , Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; Wells, G., (1998) Knowledge: Transmission or Co-construction? Speech Given At the Graduate School of Education, , University of Bristol, 17 June 1988; (2002) Learning For the 21st Century, , Wells, G. and G. Claxton, eds., Oxford: Blackwell Publishers
Uncontrolled Keywords: Authoritative knowledge; Ideological construction; Learning outcomes; Lost knowledge; Managerialism
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2015 15:46
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2015 08:25
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/3377

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year