About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 8443-8451
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain

ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE PROFESSIONALISM OF THE EVALUATION OF ADULT EDUCATION STAFF

J. Orsenigo, R. Sciannamea

Università degli Studi Milano-Bicocca (ITALY)
Evaluation always addresses ethical issues; and when groups of professionals employed in educational and social services are the object of the evaluation, the task becomes even more difficult. This is because “evaluating” means being responsible for one’s actions in that situation and before other people. (Heidegger, 1927, 1947, 1957)

The function of evaluation is one of the theoretical topics of the EDUEVAL Grundtvig Project, involving five European countries and six universities. The first phase of the project consisted of desk research to define a European framework on Adult Education and the professional figures that work in this field as evaluators. We then investigated – using qualitative instruments including in-depth interviews and mobility sessions with practitioners from all five countries – the complexity of the act of evaluation. Lastly, in order to better define the profile of the adult education staff evaluator, we designed and tested a pilot training course for this figure.

In this study we investigate the professional ethics of the Evaluator. To give a definition of the ethics of evaluation, we cannot only discuss the values or list the actions of the evaluator that can be deemed as good, fair, or otherwise. Before successfully managing to carry out the difficult task of defining something as moral or trying to codify it by creating a list of rules, it is easy to drift into utopia - something impossible to achieve - or false idealizations. Ethics become descriptive if they claim to outline human behaviour and remain normative or prescriptive, but also void of meaning, if they only give directions for action. In this sense, they open up to the possibility of acting or not acting, even without the problem of considering the development of the process and of its explicit and implicit meanings. Therefore ethics cannot simply be a set of impersonal moral templates on which an individual bases his/her behaviour but an exercise by the individual who has to constantly question and reflect on his/her actions. An evaluator’s ethical attitude is always the result of what he/she has learned and of personal subjectivation (Deleuze, 1968, 1972; Foucault, 1966; Lacan, 1964 ). Being an ethical evaluator, therefore, means not only:

• acting transparently,
• being correct: tactfully but also scrupulously,
• not abusing or negating power, but exercising it,
• being impartial: mediating differences and protecting diversity,
• not being prejudiced but suspending what may be recognized as prejudices,
• being competent,
• always seeking inter-subjective and reproducible truth without taking it as absolute;
• being honest and showing integrity,
• having a sense of responsibility,

but also embodying every action.

We realized that when evaluation concerns people, and particularly educators and social workers operating in contexts of great fragility and constraints, particular respect, tact and scrupulousness are necessary. Evaluation cannot be a judgement. Professionals cannot accept being judged for categorization or to become elements in an impersonal, bureaucratic or administrative calculation. But nor do they wish to avoid evaluation if it recognizes their skills, as well as their limits, and if it can offer them a chance for improvement. Authentic evaluation leads to satisfaction: it neither exaggerates merits nor emphasizes limits. It leads to self-assertion and self-expression.
@InProceedings{ORSENIGO2015ETH,
author = {Orsenigo, J. and Sciannamea, R.},
title = {ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE PROFESSIONALISM OF THE EVALUATION OF ADULT EDUCATION STAFF},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {8443-8451}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Orsenigo AU - R. Sciannamea
TI - ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE PROFESSIONALISM OF THE EVALUATION OF ADULT EDUCATION STAFF
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 8443
EP - 8451
ER -
J. Orsenigo, R. Sciannamea (2015) ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE PROFESSIONALISM OF THE EVALUATION OF ADULT EDUCATION STAFF, ICERI2015 Proceedings, pp. 8443-8451.
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