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ERIC Number: EJ1002203
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-1536-6367
Educational Testing and Schooling: Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action
Engelhard, George, Jr.; Wind, Stefanie A.
Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, v11 n1-2 p30-35 2013
In 2012, Edward Haertel received the NCME Career Contributions Award. The focus article for this issue emerged from his address on the topic "How Is Testing Supposed to Improve Schooling?" His focus article provides a discussion of the relationships between testing and schooling in which he issues a call to action to the measurement community to understand and address actions based on both direct and indirect uses of educational tests. Concern for both of these uses of educational tests to improve schooling, he claims, is necessary in order to understand and advocate for their appropriate use. Haertel (this issue) identifies seven uses for educational tests that are intended to improve schooling. He characterizes these uses in terms of direct and indirect actions. In reading Haertel's cogitations and reflections on the seven uses of tests, the authors were reminded of Merton's (1936) article on "The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action." The purpose of this commentary is to use the lens proposed by Merton (1936) to augment and extend Haertel's reflections on how testing is supposed to improve schooling. This commentary is organized around three questions: (1) What are the seven uses of educational testing that are classified as direct and indirect actions?; (2) What are the major components of Merton's (1936) view of the unanticipated consequences of purposive social action?; and (3) Can Merton's views of the unanticipated consequences of purposive social action extend and illuminate Haertel's perspective on the uses of educational testing? (Contains 1 table.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A