Assessment and Examination in the Secondary School: A by R. J. Riding, Sue Butterfield

By R. J. Riding, Sue Butterfield

The schooling Reform Act has tested review because the degree wherein the implementation of the nationwide Curriculum and faculty good fortune should be judged. present projects suppose, for the 1st time, the opportunity of a brand new partnership beteen curriculum and review. This publication is designed to supply a pragmatic figuring out of modern exam and overview advancements at secondary point, and should be rather beneficial to scholars and training lecturers. It examines the creation of the GCSE, using profiling, equivalent possibilities concerns, examinations at sixteen+ and the review of school-leavers for education and employment. It additionally comprise a quick old account of the improvement of secondary schooling. The equity and appropriateness of exam effects are continually an issue of public obstacle, and the ultimate chapters, particulary, expand those matters by means of taking a look at the ways that number of adventure and studying kinds are correct to evaluate practices.

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Both these approaches are reflected in the national criteria. In the areas of mathematics and science the emphasis is on differentiation by syllabus content and task. Mathematics: there will normally be at least three levels of assessment. For each of these levels a separate content must be prescribed. (Department of Education and Science/Welsh Office 1985) Science: schemes of assessment involving alternative components for candidates of different levels of ability must normally be used… CHRISTOPHER BUCKLE 37 The syllabuses for biology and physics require assessment which involves the use of alternative components for candidates of different levels of ability.

In the case of the GCSE it may be about 1 per cent. For this reason the assessment is aimed at the higher level skills and broader outcomes of the course. It is assumed that the attainment of higher level skills implies the possession of related lower order skills and more specific detailed information. The higher levels skills, which are relevant to large parts of the syllabus, tend to be less precisely defined in terms of specific details. A candidate who can apply the skill to one area may be less successful in doing so in others.

Secondly, GCSE syllabuses must wherever possible address ‘economic, political, social and environmental factors’ (Department of Education and Science 1985) so that subjects are not studied in isolation from the ‘real world’. In science subjects, for example, industrial processes and everyday applications of scientific principles must be included in the examinations. This is proving quite a difficult area to examine, since it is by definition very broad, and it is sometimes a matter of chance whether a candidate has a particular piece of general knowledge.

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