Measuring learning outcomes and education for sustainable development: the new education developmental goal

Autor(es): Barrett, Angeline M.

Date: 2016

Pages: p. 101-114

Serie: Oxford Studies in Comparative Education

Series Volume: 25, 1 (2016)


At the time of writing, the Education and Lifelong Learning Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) is being negotiated within a global context, where standardised assessments have become a tool for global monitoring and, some argue (Fukuda-Parr et al. 2013; Sellar & Lingard 2013), global governance of education. The 2015-2030 education goal will be the first United Nations (UN) development goal to include targets for learning outcomes. Globally, most assessments, particularly those used in monitoring Education for All (EFA), focus on a narrow set of foundational skills in literacy and numeracy. This raises the question of how well the international preoccupation with measuring learning as an outcome of education,serves the broader cross-sectoral agendaofsustainable development. To explore this question, this chapter draws on a social justice framework for education quality and key ideas on learning form the literature on education for sustainable development (ESD). This paper explores the extent to which they are compatible by adopting social justice framework for understanding education quality for all. The framework was designed to clarify the meaning and evaluation of education quality at a time when the development objectives were dominated by rights-based and human capital notions of development. So, attention is also given to the limitations of the framework and how it may be adapted to evaluate policies for promoting education quality that contributes to sustainable development.

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