CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Culture’s pivotal role in effective educational and social assessments – and how related research findings can spark social change – will be the focus of an international conference in Chicago this fall.
“Evidence Matters: Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment Translating to Action and Impact in Challenging Times” is the theme of the conference, being held Sept. 27-29 at the Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe St.
The 2017 conference is the fourth international symposium organized by the University of Illinois’ Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment.
According to CREA founding director Stafford Hood, the conference is unique in its definitive recognition of culture’s central role in evaluation and assessment.
Culturally responsive testing and interventions are a largely uncharted territory, but “our collective experiences as researchers and evaluators provide us with the professional and lived experiences to undertake this critically important endeavor,” Hood said.
Gloria Ladson-Billings, the Kellner Family Chair in Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, will be one of several speakers at the 2017 conference hosted by the University of Illinois’ Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment.
Photo by Bryce Richter
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Among other themes, conference presenters will explore cultural responsiveness as the foundation of equitable public policy, ethical challenges in complex areas of inquiry, and the practices and policies of influence and consequence in the quest for social justice.
“To address the issues our communities face – including unrest sparked by the deaths of unarmed citizens; the intensely divisive political climate in the U.S.; and persistent inequities in education, poverty, health care and rates of incarceration – it is critically important that we focus on generating, analyzing and applying substantive evidence that matters in the evaluations and assessments we undertake,” said Hood, the Sheila M. Miller Professor of Education at Illinois.
Keynote speakers include evaluation scholar Ernest R. House, a professor emeritus at the University of Colorado, Boulder; pedagogical theorist and teacher educator Gloria Ladson-Billings, the Kellner Family Chair in Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; and psychologist Teresa LaFromboise, a professor and chair of Native American Studies at Stanford University, whose research focuses on helping ethnic minority youths survive acculturation pressure and discrimination.
Other keynote speakers are psychologist Robin Miller, the chair of the Ecological-Community Doctoral Program at Michigan State University, a scholar of community-level HIV prevention programs that reduce risky behaviors among high-risk young men; and Guillermo Solano-Flores, a professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University and an expert on formative assessment practices for culturally diverse science classrooms.
Participants have the option of attending a full day or half day of pre-conference workshops addressing topics such as the foundations of culturally responsive evaluation and its applications in indigenous and “Latinx” communities.
Rates, the full conference schedule and online registration are available on the conference website. Participants who register by Aug. 25 will save $50 on the regular and student rates.
Founded in 2011, CREA’s primary mission is promoting policy-relevant research that recognizes the critical influences of culture and individuals’ lived experiences on effective assessments and interventions, particularly among children who are poor or from ethnically diverse backgrounds.