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ERIC Number: EJ962956
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 73
ISSN: ISSN-0969-594X
Making Sense of Decades of Debate on Inter-Subject Comparability in England
Newton, Paul E.
Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, v19 n2 p251-273 2012
This article illustrates how a new framework for conceptualising comparability has the potential to help assessment professionals to understand and to conduct debate on linking theory and practice. The framework was used as a lens through which to study a corpus of research reports, from which a narrative was constructed to characterise the evolution of conceptions of inter-subject comparability in England from the 1960s to the present day. The new framework helped to bring clarity and structure to the trajectory of ideas, from a period before theoretical commitments were clearly articulated to the present day. One dominant underlying conception was identified and characterised as the "all causes" causal definition. Characterising the dominant conception explicitly, in the language of the new framework, revealed clearly its inadequacy in this comparability context, despite its apparent longevity as the "de facto" paradigm for interpreting inter-subject comparability monitoring research. Although the dominant conception remained largely unchallenged during the twentieth century, the new framework helped to identify how a number of researchers were grappling for alternative conceptions, even from early on. It was not until the turn of the twenty-first century that alternative conceptions began to be articulated explicitly and the focus of the debate changed from methodological adequacy to definitional adequacy. (Contains 2 tables.)
Routledge. 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; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)