Evaluation Competencies Research

Assessment competence is the anchor point of a large number of works by the work group on scientific research. All underlying work is based on a participation-oriented and context-sensitive understanding of evaluation competencies. In doing so, we embrace a tradition of scientific research and teaching that recognizes and deals with the political and emancipatory dimension of science education. This also means a critical examination of psychometric models of competence diagnostics.

Above all, the foundation of educational theory means that judgments and decisions must always be understood against the background. As a result, many decisions are not quite understood because the action is naturally based on previous experience and/or routines. Often it is only decisions of a certain scope or moments of irritation (even crises) that provoke a deliberate confrontation with established routines. This highlights the basis of using crises for the development of evaluation competencies. The reflection of moral intuitions is, therefore, a central element of subject-oriented promotion and research approaches of ethical evaluation competence. The use of reflection phases for the development of assessment competencies in sustainability-related decisions is examined within the framework of the doctoral project of Christina Priert.

With a view in broadening the theoretical reference points in science education research on evaluation competence, we focus on the importance of crisis-based educational processes, intuitive judgments, internalized patterns of perception, thinking, and action in assessing and judging ethical issues. This approach implies the use of reconstructive qualitative research methods in research methodology since the causes and reasons for specific decisions are usually not known to the individuals themselves and only come to light in stages through periods of reflection. A more detailed description of the methodological anchoring can be found in the Working Group - Methods Workshop.

In conclusion, the following are the resulting understandings of evaluation competencies:

1. Educational processes are subject related and lead to a change in oneself and one's world through a crisis or conflict (Koller 2007).

2. The starting point of ethical educational processes is our intuitions (Haidt 2001) and our internalized experiences, which are expressed in habits (Bourdieu 1998).

3. Scientific education also contributes to the ability to participate and therefore to a change in social conditions (Freise 1994).

In the light of the theoretical expositions set forth, a framework model[1] for the promotion and research of ethical evaluation competence is postulated, which identifies reflection as a central element in education and integrates the reference points "intuition", "habits", "crisis", and "participation".

In another dissertation project "Evaluation Competence - Correctly Understanding Tasks", tasks for the measurement of assessment competencies are analyzed. The background is the discourse about the theoretical foundation and modeling of the evaluation competence. Prominent models (eg Eggert & Bögeholz, 2006, Hostenbach, 2011) conceptualize these on the basis of the rational choice paradigm. On the other hand, it is objectionable that implicit and/or intuitive human decision-making processes would not be sufficiently considered (Dittmer et al., 2013, Hößle & Menthe, 2013, Düker & Menthe, 2016, Sander, 2016) For this, findings from decision-making psychology and sociology are used (inter alia, Bourdieu, 2001, Haidt, 2001, Strack & Deutsch, 2004, Kahneman, 2012).


[1] A more detailed description of the theoretical references mentioned and the framework model we have set out in the journal for didactics of the natural sciences (Dittmer, Gebhard, Höttecke & Menthe, 2017).