Toward an intercultural approach to evaluation: A perspective from INEE in Mexico


  • Sylvia Schmelkes National Institute for the Evaluation of Education



Educational evaluation, intercultural education, intercultural evaluation


The National Institute for the Evaluation of Education (INEE) in Mexico has begun to meet the challenges in evaluating indigenous children and teachers and the educational programs and policies targeted to them. Several evaluation projects are described in this paper. One is the “Previous, Free and Informed Consultation of Indigenous People,” which focuses on quality of education they receive. A second is the design of a protocol for reducing cultural and linguistic bias in standardized tests, which requires oversampling of indigenous students and the involvement of anthropologists, linguists and indigenous teachers in item development. A third is an indigenous language evaluation for candidates for entry into the teaching profession, which they must pass before they can work in indigenous schools. A fourth is the development of a qualitative instrument for evaluating teacher performance. The instrument asks evaluated teachers to contextualize their planning; scorers decide whether the plan is adapted to the cultural context and the characteristics of the children. The projects described are only a starting point. In the near future, several dilemmas, such as the apparent trade-off between contextualization and quality, have to be faced and solved.


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Author Biography

Sylvia Schmelkes, National Institute for the Evaluation of Education

Sylvia Schmelkes is a sociologist with an MA degree in Educational Research from the Universidad Iberoamericana. Sylvia Irene Schmelkes del Valle’s professional experience has been in educational research, in which she has worked since 1970. She has published more than 150 books, articles and chapters on quality of education, values education, adult education and intercultural education. She founded and was coordinator general of Intercultural and Bilingual Education in the Ministry of Education in Mexico from 2001 to 2007. She chaired the OECD Center for Educational Research and Innovation’s Governing Board from 2002 to 2004. In 2008 she received the Comenius Medal, awarded by the Czeck Republic and by UNESCO. She headed the Institute for Research in the Development of Education of the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico from 2007 to 2013. She was the first President of the National Institute for the Evaluation of Education since it became autonomous. At present she is a member of its Governing Board, and she is a Mexican National Researcher, level III.




How to Cite

Schmelkes, S. (2018). Toward an intercultural approach to evaluation: A perspective from INEE in Mexico. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 26, 52.



Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Educational Evaluation