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ERIC Number: ED305397
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
The Significance of Contemporary Contradiction in Educational Assessment Policies in England and Wales.
Broadfoot, Patricia
Some of the assumptions underlying educational assessment policies in England and Wales are discussed in terms of contradictions in the aims of those policies. Two key initiatives--the national "bench-mark" testing and records of achievement--provide the focus for illustrating the potentially fundamental change of emphasis in the nature and role of educational assessment that is currently taking place. Via a brief socio-historical analysis of the emerging role of assessment in education, the significance of current contradictions in each educational assessment is examined. The evolution of evaluative language, the trend toward "humanization," and student-centered teaching and evaluation are outlined. The central emerging contradiction involves the simultaneous use of education as an instrument of social control and its potential to act as a force opposing such control by equipping learners with the power to reflect upon and challenge the prevailing power. Comparisons to assessment approaches in France and West Germany are provided; and the Great Education Reform Bill of 1987, which calls for testing of all children at 7 years of age, is critiqued. Far from educational assessment provoking a legitimation crisis, it may be reflecting the emergence of a new form of disciplinary power into which the post-enlightenment abstract language of account, which made psychometric testing and self-surveillance possible, is combined with the pre-modern disciplinary code of direct surveillance of the person as a whole rather than as the occupant of a series of contractuallly-defined roles. (TJH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Wales)