KIX Conversations: Learning assessments: perspectives from the classroom and the experience of the Saint Lucia Teachers’ Union.

Feb 29, 2024 | Destacada KIX, kix, News


🎥 Video Conversations KIX St. Lucia


The seventeenth edition of the KIX Conversations featured the participation of Don Howellpresident of the St. Lucia Teachers’ Union and representative for that country at the KIX LAC center, who spoke about the importance of learning assessment and the role of teachers in this process. The interview was conducted by KIX LAC researcher, Manuela Pombo.

In this issue, Howell spoke about the importance of apprenticeship assessment as a tool to inform rather than stratify. He also mentioned the need for assessment to be inclusive, to promote equality, equity and social justice and to include aspects of social, emotional, civic and ethical placement to ensure equity in the education system: “As we evolve and grow as a Caribbean people, we identify needs that are unique to our country and that we must integrate into our education system…the world is evolving, we want to ensure that our citizens can compete globally once they leave a Caribbean school, that is why our school must put our students in a position to operate or function anywhere in the world. To do this, it will be necessary to train and educate our teachers.”


“…when we advocate for teachers we are also advocating for students, because the conditions under which teachers work become the conditions under which students learn. So what we do is really for the holistic development of the whole education system.”


He also stressed the need for evaluation to take into account where students go and where they come from, even because educators are evaluated based on the grades students get, not on the day the teacher has had with those students, since a student could have gone from an F to a D grade, which shows that there is improvement in that student, but his or her grade is still deficient. He also pointed out that evaluations do not take into account the special needs or deficiencies that a child may require, which implies that the teacher is labeled or stigmatized as if he/she were not an effective teacher in the classroom. Therefore, he clarifies that these are areas that must be reversed in the evaluation, so as not to scare students or make them run away from school, and that from the Union, as far as evaluation is concerned, they have studied new authentic evaluation strategies that help teachers to apply an authentic evaluation in the classroom.


A key point in fostering fruitful collaboration between the different sectors of education: teacher training.


Howell calls for a review of what is happening at the Teachers College. See if the program really responds to the needs of the education system, really support teachers, and think about how to have the university play a decisive role in continuing professional development, not just certification, but continuing professional development for teachers. “We are advocating for creating a committee composed of the Union, the Ministry of Education, the school and school administration, the teacher training college, so that there can be that discussion around teacher training, determine the direction of it and the standard so that the Teacher Training College can become an integral part of what is happening in the Caribbean education system.”


About Don Howell

Teacher with a bachelor’s degree in education, specialist in educational administration and master’s degree in digital technologies, communication and education. He has more than 15 years of dedication to the service of the Saint Lucia Teachers’ Union and is currently its president after having held various positions as public relations officer, general secretary and vice-president. Mr. Howell has contributed to regional education, having served as General Secretary of the Caribbean Teachers Union from 2017 to 2022. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in philosophy of education with a focus on educational policy at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus.

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