Amongst much repetition of the assurance that the relationship of assessment to curriculum is one of servant to master, it might in fact appear that assessment has made a further bid for power. This is an important time, because the debate about assessment has been opened, the criteria of assessment are a matter of national discussion, and in the process, the objectives of teaching and learning are being defined and redefined. 'Master' and 'servant' are no longer appropriate ways to think of the relationship of curriculum to assessment. Current assessment initiatives are predicated upon the belief that curriculum and assessment can enter into a new partnership.
This book explores current developments in assessment from a number of perspectives. Its starting point is the introduction of the General Certificate of Secondary Education, which is discussed in terms of its origins, its objectives design, and its organization at examining group level. The school context of the examinations at 16-plus is changing too. Major curricular developments are associated with vocational education, and profiles are being introduced in order to record a greater range of achievement than examination results. The place of examination results and other achievements in recruitment is illustrated by a survey of the practices of employers.
The fairness and appropriateness of examination results are always a matter of public concern. The final two chapters of this book, particularly, extend these issues by looking at the ways in which variety of experience and learning style are relevant to assessment practices.
The book is designed to provide a practical understanding of recent examination and assessment developments for teachers, student teachers and general readers. It is not intended that the lists of references and bibliographies are exhaustive, but they are designed to give starting points for further reading.