Cognition, Culture, Language, and Assessment: How to Select Culturally Valid Assessments in the Classroom MAR í A DEL ROSARIO BASTERRA
Chapter Overview In order to be effective across the broad range of students in U.S. classrooms today, teachers must know how to accurately and equitably assess learning. To do so, they need to be aware of the role that cognition, language, and culture play in children’s perception and understanding of the world and how they can use that knowledge to ensure culturally valid assessment practices in their classrooms. This chapter is divided into two main sections. The first section provides an overview of key research findings on the overall impact of culture and language on cognition and assessment. The second section discusses ways to promote equitable assessment in the classroom, taking into consideration the impact of students’ cultural and lin guistic backgrounds. For the sake of simplicity, the terms “test item” and “assessment task” are used interchangeably.