Rebuilding Public Confidence in Educational Assessment

Mary Richardson

ISBN: 9781787357242

Publication: May 01, 2022

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Educational assessment is important. But in the 21st century it is easy to feel that schooling and other phases of education are shaped entirely by certain assessments, and that assessment is only about exam results. The idea that test grades can accurately describe the aims and outcomes of education is disappointing and reductive. Yet it is a pervasive and persuasive discourse. This book is about such discourses - the stories we tell each other - and how they impact public trust and confidence in educational assessment. It explains the roots and nature of assessment discourses, and proposes a restructuring of the debate in order to rebuild public confidence. It aims to challenge dominant assessment discourses and demands a more nuanced, informed debate about what happens in and beyond schools, and how this influences public thinking. 

Questioning the status quo needs buy-in from policymakers, teachers, parents and students, and from the broader public: from journalists, you, me, our friends and our children. Using examples from international settings to explore the nature of trust in assessment discourses, Rebuilding Public Confidence in Educational Assessment shows how these discourses can be reframed so that all aspects of the assessment system - policymaking, school planning, home practice with students - can be delivered with confidence.

Mary Richardson is a Professor of Educational Assessment at UCL Institute of Education.

List of figures and tables



1. Talking about education and assessment: understanding  discourse

2. Public understanding of assessment

3. Assessment and the value of education

4. Student experiences of assessment

5. Depicting assessment in public places

6. Introducing assessment literacy

7. A new road map for assessment?


Format: Open Access PDF

B&W line drawings and B&W photo/halftones

Copyright: © 2022

ISBN: 9781787357242

Publication: May 01, 2022

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