Upcoming GLS MA Defence, Spring 2019

March 08, 2019

Darren Birch -
Opening the Black Box: Examining the Micro-Physics of Power in Teacher/Student Co-Evaluation of Academic Achievement

Friday, March 8, 2 pm
Room 1500 - SFU Harbour Centre


This project is a mixed methodology self-study of the power dynamics inherent in the teacher/student collaborative evaluation of academic achievement. This grading practice consisted of an evaluation phase following a period of instruction where the teacher collaborated with students to collect and evaluate assessment evidence in light of standards. Teacher and student then shared their results in a conference and collaboratively determined the letter grade.

The power dynamics of the conferences were examined through a Foucauldian power use and parrhesia framework to identify three types of power used by teacher and student: invitational, resistant, and neutral. Teacher use of power dominated the conferences, yet some students were able to resist the teacher’s use of power sufficiently to have their voice heard.

Results of this study are encouraging and have proven useful in developing further iterations of this evaluation methodology.