Beyond Testing: Towards a Theory of Educational Assessment

Beyond Testing: Towards a Theory of Educational Assessment

Beyond Testing: Towards a Theory of Educational Assessment

Beyond Testing: Towards a Theory of Educational Assessment

Synopsis

Assessment has been developing at a rapid rate during the 1990s, and issues surrounding this development have been examined and re-thought by various key researchers. Examination of the technical issues of the effect of assessment on curriculum and teaching, and the relationship with learning criterion- referenced, teacher and performance assessment is provided in this book. drawing together analyses, it offers a framework for educational assessment.

Excerpt

Assessment is undergoing a paradigm shift, from psychometrics to a broader model of educational assessment, from a testing and examination culture to an assessment culture. There is a wider range of assessment in use now than there was twenty-five years ago: teacher assessment, standard tasks, coursework, records of achievement as well as practical and oral assessment, written examinations and standardized tests. There is criterion-referenced assessment, formative assessment and performance-based assessment, as well as norm-referenced testing. In addition, assessment has taken on a high profile and is required to achieve a wide range of purposes: it has to support teaching and learning, provide information about pupils, teachers and schools, act as a selection and certificating device, as an accountability procedure, and drive curriculum and teaching. These new forms and range of purposes for assessment mean that the major traditional model underpinning assessment theory, the psychometric model, is no longer adequate, hence the paradigm shift.

A paradigm is a set of interrelated concepts which provide the framework within which we see and understand a particular problem or activity. The paradigm within which we work determines what we look for, the way in which we construe what we observe, and how we solve emerging problems. A paradigm shift or ‘scientific revolution’ occurs when the old paradigm is unable to deal with an outstanding problem (Kuhn, 1970). This book is written as part of the attempt to reconceptualize assessment in education in the 1990s. There has been over the last decade an explosion of developments in assessment and a number of key actors have been reconceptualizing the issues. The aim of this book is to bring together much of this work to discuss and synthesize it in an attempt to further our understandings and practice in educational assessment: to develop the theory of educational assessment.

We need to develop a new way of thinking about assessment to . . .

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