Redefining Quality Assessment in Canadian K-12 Schools With Empathy, Critical Consciousness and Metacognition


  • Michael Marchione Ontario Tech University, Oshawa, Canada
  • Wendy Barber Ontario Tech University, Oshawa
  • Roland van Oosveen Ontario Tech University, Oshawa
  • Joe Stokes Ontario Tech University, Oshawa



assessment, critical consciousness, metacognition, empathy, digital age


Over the past decades, educational pedagogies have been shaped by many theorists and frameworks. For the purpose of this paper, the researchers define educational pedagogy through a lens that is influenced by Paulo Freire. For instance, educational pedagogy can be defined as seeking a balance within the tension between freedom and authority, while navigating the challenging structures that shape educational institutions (Freire, 2005, 2020). These structures include the impact of lived experiences and realities, the role of curricula, and the changing interactions within society that influence the pedagogical frameworks in education (Freire, 2020). This paper begins to consider a new framework for assessment and evaluation in Ontario, Canada’s K-12 schools, where educational pedagogy, empathy, metacognition, and critical consciousness may be posited as potential components moving forward. This paper deeply examines these three key elements of effective and authentic assessment: empathy, critical consciousness and metacognition. Each of these terms is defined and situated in a 21C digital learning context, and the authors suggest that new directions in assessment and evaluation must consider these three significant as fundamental to any redesign of assessment practices. Consideration may be given to the perspectives and experiences of educational leaders, educators, students, and their communities, and how these perspectives can shape the values and how we meet the challenges in education. Pedagogy in practice can often reflect the strategies and beliefs that influence educators’ values and choices, and the resulting impact on learning. Part of these pedagogical considerations may include the development of empathy, critical consciousness and metacognition throughout the assessment and evaluation process. Using a Canadian context, the authors argue that post-pandemic learners require a different set of tools to learn, and post-pandemic teachers need to reconfigure the ways in which that learning is measured, assessed and evaluated.

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