Educational paradigms are in constant change due to dissatisfaction with current teaching
and evaluation processes and dismal student performances. The education pendulum is,
therefore, driven by the desire to see different things happen. The educational paradigm often
transitions without informed data and research on the expected outcomes or evaluating how
effective previous strategies had been. This has sometimes destabilized students affecting their
learning outcomes, thus resulting in the need to change and modify the evaluation of learning.
The evaluation of learning has slowly become an integral part of teaching and learning,
enabling informed decision-making concerning the teacher's conduct and the student's approach.
The theme of evaluation is more and more present in the discourse of education. This helps
better understand the classroom practices and the evolution of learning assessment practices and
different attitudes to these changing practices. In the face of the current discourse on evaluation,
this difference in attitudes explains the context of all significant transitions.
In "Teacher education for inclusion," published in 2010, Forlin asserts that the paradigm
of educational evaluation is changing. In it, he describes, in skillfully drawn contrasts, the
differences between the old paradigm and the new. The practice of measurement and evaluation
in education has changed over the past hundred years. It has followed the currents, which marked
the evolution of our societies. Tyler (1986), in his book “Changing Concepts of Educational
Evaluation,” he asserts that the democratization of social structures, the shift from a rural
economy to a post-industrial economy, and the expansion of knowledge have had a decisive
impact on our vision of the role of school and assessment. At the turn of the century, it was
argued that most children had limited “educability” potential. Researchers have produced
aptitude tests aimed at predicting the ability of children admitted to school to succeed. These
"intelligence tests" were believed to demonstrate that few children could complete secondary
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school education. The evaluation was then used to classify, to say, distinguish those who were
educable from those who were not. The best were encouraged to continue with their studies
while the others were invited to enter the world of work, which was in great need of unskilled
labor. In 1910, only 10 percent of students graduated from high school in the US (Tyler, 1986).
The normative role that evaluation has played is proving inadequate in today's education.
On the one hand, it does not answer the questions and needs of students, parents, and teachers
who want real information on what has been learned, what is not mastered, or the progress made.
Besides, it encourages a false view of the school, which is seen as a place of competition rather
than a social institution whose function is to help students learn. According to Tyler and Forlin,
our societies, both out of principle and out of need, have, over the years, encouraged greater
school attendance. The democratization of social structures and the labor market evolution have
made it necessary to open schools' doors to an increasing number of children. But it is not
enough to expand accessibility to schooling; new realities are emerging, and they must be taken
Educational research provides a better and better understanding of the learning process.
On this point, several studies have shown that there is no correlation between a student's
intelligence quotient and his academic performance (Duckworth & Seligman, 2005). Duckworth
and Seligman argued that the relationship between these two variables was so weak that it could
be considered negligible and that the correlation between aptitude tests and academic
performance was explained by the fact that tests measure the prior knowledge of the individual
in a field, knowledge which is necessary for learning and therefore directly linked to academic
performance. This is why children from privileged backgrounds generally obtain better results on
these tests. Our societies have facilitated school access but have not provided structures to foster
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academic success and meet new training needs. The evaluation had to change the paradigm to be
able to accompany this surge. Our perception of assessment has continued to evolve with three
functions of evaluation being specified, namely: the predictive (or diagnostic), certification, and
The new paradigm in evaluation is built around the new expectations of society
concerning education. It is believed that anyone can learn what the school teaches and that the
general population needs what the school can offer to live life to the fullest in society. It is also
argued that the school can adapt to the students' needs, and that assessment plays a crucial role in
this adaptation. If we carry out the evaluation, whatever the context, it is because we have
decisions to make, it is because we are seeking to act and that, to do this; we want to base
decisions on valid information. Thus, teachers are continually making decisions to regulate
student learning and to apply the necessary corrective measures in their teaching. According to
Stiggins (2005), a teacher makes a class decision every three minutes on average. Evaluation can
then serve learning, either directly, by shedding light on the learner's activity, or indirectly, by
shedding light on the choices of the one whose mission is to facilitate learning.
In this decision-making process, the concept of formative evaluation refers to itself at the
heart of the model of the pedagogy of success. In the philosophy of pedagogy of success, the
teacher continually asks himself questions about the evolution of his teaching and, above all, the
evolution of student learning. Since formative evaluation is used to guide decisions of
pedagogical nature, we can now speak of learning assisted by evaluation. According to Perna and
Thomas (2008), academic performance is shaped by both cognitive skills and non-cognitive
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Assessment is the current swing in the education pendulum. Assessment is no longer an
act outside the teaching and learning process. It is no longer an act that disturbs the educational
process and only serves to crown success or confirm failure. Assessment is no longer a purely
administrative act. If the evaluation of learning changes, it is also because the teachers want it to
change. They are aware of their responsibility concerning the sanction of minimum skills; they
know that they are taking actions that directly affect student perceptions of failure or success,
concerning the type of study, concerning the educational objectives sought. Donovan et al.
(2014) suggest that the new approach to educator preparation evaluation is evidence of
The new paradigm in evaluation leads us to be interested in the attitude that a professor
adopts when evaluating. Assessment should be collaborative to promote learning and motivation.
When students participate with teachers in classroom assessment, they can observe their
reasoning, lack of understanding, and problem-solving processes. Corrective feedback and
reinforcement can be provided right away. Such participation is analogous to the behavior of a
coach who leads, observes, corrects, intervenes when his help is needed but withdraws when the
student is functioning independently. This is the concept of coaching. In such interactive
supervision, the student takes part in the assessment process's judgments, criteria, results, and
decisions. At the same time, the teacher participates personally in the development of skills. The
new way of looking at evaluation thus obliges us to review our conception of the teacher-pupil
relationship; it also raises questions about the impact of assessment on teaching and learning.
Any learning is indeed a time of cognitive and emotional destabilization for the student.
Assimilating new knowledge requires questioning what we already know. What the teacher
needs to worry about is that the student feels safe during these times of destabilization. The
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student must be allowed to make mistakes: so that they can explore, experiment, and help them
accept their errors and doubts. Above all, what is central in the teacher/student relationship is to
decontaminate the authority of a domination/submission relationship. It is about addressing the
student as a developing subject having the choice between three sources of assessment.
Students can help cope with these changes by having both parents and teachers instilling
discipline into them. Discipline impacts the learning process by creating a stress-free
environment to allocate time between different activities, improve planning by observing and
maintaining a defined daily routine, shapes the learner's character, strengthens motivation, sets a
good example, and contribute positively to obtaining better grades. Elements such as exam
anxiety, environment, motivation, and emotions should be considered when developing models
of academic achievement (Perna and Thomas, 2008). Various studies, such as one by Duckworth
and Seligman (2005), have found a positive link between discipline in learners and their
academic performance, the latter improving with increasing level of discipline.
While educational institutions must enforce the rules or code of conduct that guide
learner behavior, parents also play a role in ensuring compliance. Aspects such as dress code,
hairstyles, and good manners begin at home. Parents and educators, especially school leaders, are
two pillars that influence the preparation of learners. If the discipline is not tackled from an early
age, it will remain difficult to achieve a quality education with a full impact on the learner. Thus,
if learners at all levels are disciplined, they are more likely to quickly acquire the required
knowledge and skills because they are focused and self-motivated.
In conclusion, in educational discourse, one cannot correctly distinguish the concepts in
evaluation by relating them to one or the other paradigm. And to complicate matters, many do
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not even seem aware that a paradigm, old or new, presides over this discourse. Be that as it may,
the old paradigm, the one that has dominated during the last forty years, will have served to give
education an air of scientific precision while encouraging traditions of scientific rigor, both in
research and in psychometry. But we are resolutely experiencing a paradigm shift in evaluation,
which leads us to see it as an integral part of teaching and a powerful tool for improving
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Donovan, C. B., Ashdown, J. E., & Mungai, A. M. (2014). A New Approach to Educator
Preparation Evaluation: Evidence for Continuous Improvement?. Journal of Curriculum
and Instruction, 8(1), 86-110.
Duckworth, A. L., & Seligman, M. E. (2005). Self-discipline outdoes IQ in predicting academic
performance of adolescents. Psychological science, 16(12), 939-944.
Forlin, C. (Ed.). (2010). Teacher education for inclusion: Changing paradigms and innovative
Perna, L. W., & Thomas, S. L. (2008). Theoretical Perspectives on Student Success:
Understanding the Contributions of the Disciplines. ASHE higher education report,
Stiggins, R. (2005). From formative assessment to assessment for learning: A path to success in
standards-based schools. Phi Delta Kappan, 87(4), 324-328.
Tyler, R. W. (1986). Changing Concepts of Educational Evaluation. International Journal of
Educational Research, 10(1), 1-113.