Avaliação da aprendizagem no ensino superior na área de saúde: unidade de produção de sentidos sob a perspectiva histórico-cultural
Cavalcante, Leila Pacheco Ferreira
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The current research has the assessment in Health graduation teaching within a Higher Teaching Institution as its object of study. It is a qualitative investigation aiming at identifying and analyzing the discourses and the meanings of the learning assessment produced among the professors and students from the Nursing and Medicine graduation course. Such object of study assumes a specific dimension in the Historical-Cultural referent, focusing on Leontiev‟s proposed Activity Theory, as it conceives the relation among assessment, teaching and learning as a unit of producing meanings, when professors and students are formed and transformed into combined activity. Students and professors from both courses were the subjects of such investigation. The data were obtained through interviews, application of the focal groups‟ technique and the documental analysis of the Political-Pedagogical Plans. The analyzed statements reveal assessment conceptions that carry different epistemologies and some contradictions between the discourse and the praxis. Among them, there are the ones who see it as coercion and control tools, and others who direct it as an essential strategy to teaching quality, thus recognizing that the social conditions are determinant in producing knowledge. In spite of the fact that it is conceived as a process, most professors are concerned in providing answers to the academic system. Most of them accomplish it through a conservative perspective, placing the formation process as something of individual responsibility, when it should be understood as a collective activity mediated by the subjects who make part of the teaching activity. There is the prevalence of considering assessment as an activity aimed at providing marks that stand as passing signs so that students are allowed to carry on within the course. Therefore, the assessment carried out by the professors follows towards a direction that is opposite to the students‟ conception, because the latter are concerned about learning whereas the former ones prioritize the capacity of answering questions about the syllabus. The subjects qualify assessment as a necessary tool in teaching planning, in guiding the pedagogical management and in the institutional development, although they are still not able to make it an appropriate tool so as to diagnose the teaching deficiencies and their implications in learning. Thus, they question the pertinence of the assessment they carry out and the tools they have in order to identify whether the student has learned or not. They attribute the insufficient formation for the teaching carreer as the cause for the vague knowledge they have about this situation, as well as the defficiency of the ability to deal with assessment in an appropriate way and they confirm the lack of objective working conditions that provide them such learning in an equivalent proportion to the specificities of the area in which they work. The professors state various reasons so as to explain the need of assessing. Some of them are related to the mechanisms of management and the structure of the very working process and, consequently, the objective conditions that mediate their accomplishment. It can be highlighted among them: the need of meeting the expectations of the academic system; introducing qualified professionals within the working market; forcing students to study hard; conferring marks and providing with information about the professors‟ work; stimulating students to study and correct mistakes identified in the learning process; promoting learners‟ autonomy and raising their will to learn, the feeling of pertaining to and the responsibility for the choice they have made. It seems to us that the role of assessment is not still very clear for the professors, as its focus is aimed at the formal scheme in order to fulfill the bureaucratic requirements of the academic system, which stands as the manager of the teaching activities and, therefore, it is the prevalent sense of assessment within the Health graduation teaching.