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

Sylvia Schmelkes


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.


Educational evaluation; intercultural education; intercultural evaluation

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Copyright (c) 2019 Sylvia Schmelkes


Contact EPAA//AAPE at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College