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ERIC Number: EJ1130514
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1755-1382
An Essay in the Political Economy of Assessment Design
Sutton, Paul
Practitioner Research in Higher Education, v6 n1 p23-30 2012
My point of departure in this essay is that student approaches to assessment appear to have become more instrumental, and that there has been a correlative propensity in my teaching practice to "teach to the test". Hence, both learners and teachers seem to have become more strategic in relation to assessment. This situation, I argue, is a product of power relations within contemporary higher education institutions (HEIs) and the function higher education performs in the new capitalism. Assessment instrumentalism is part of a new learning culture; it is, I contend, a rational and pragmatic response to current social and economic imperatives. Thus, when designing assessments it is necessary to recognise and work with this instrumentalism if we desire its reconfiguration. The design of assessments worth learning and teaching for is made possible, I argue, by the development of a pedagogy for itself.
University of Cumbria. Fusehill Street, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA1 2HH, United Kingdom. Tel: +44-1228-616338; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A