Using learning assessment data to monitor progress for SDG Target 4.7

Author(s): Kunda Marron, Rosaria; Naughton, Deirdre

Organisation(s): Education and Development Solutions (Ireland); Bridge 47 Network

Date: 2019

Pages: 24 p.


The Education 2030 Agenda places learning outcomes at the core of monitoring international education targets. Learning assessments are routinely used to measure learning and provide information on learning outcomes for policy and practice. However, the application and utility of these learning assessments are not without challenges. In this paper, we explore the challenges of producing and using learning assessment data to measure SDG Target 4.7. Currently, a plethora of information on different types of national, regional, and international assessments is available. Arguments against learning assessments typically refer to a reduction of the curriculum to the topics included in the test only, usefulness of learning assessment data, and comparability between countries and regions. As learning is influenced by context and practice, we argue that learning assessments need to be flexible, adaptive, and relevant to make them meaningful to all stakeholders and comparable between various contexts. This is particularly important for non-formal and informal learning, especially in the context of globalisation where non-formal and informal education programmes provide the means through which formal education can be complemented, reinforced, or updated through ESD and GCE. Because sustainable development and global citizenship are defined and understood in different ways, locally valid assessments are especially important in measuring SDG Target 4.7.

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