LKMco and Pearson launch consultation on assessment
Assessment, testing and exams are perceived by teachers and parents alike to be one of the top issues facing the education sector.
Last year Pearson conducted a survey of teachers’ and parents’ attitudes towards assessment and testing, which revealed widespread support for a cross-sector debate to address some of the challenges relating to this area. Teachers and school leaders feel assessment is the second most pressing concern facing education, behind workload. For parents, only funding cuts to schools are a bigger issue.
As the country’s largest awarding body, this issue is incredibly important, and Pearson is partnering with think-and-action-tank LKMco to help facilitate this debate and find solutions. We have launched an in-depth, consultation with teachers, school leaders, experts and parents to better understand concerns about assessment and to identify ways of addressing them.
The questions draw on a longer stimulus paper prepared as the basis of this consultation by Professor Peter Hill, a leading expert in international assessment systems, and on Pearson’s 2016 survey. Where appropriate we will also explore what we can learn from other countries.
At Pearson we recognise that while we can facilitate discussion and lend our expertise in this field, it is the opinions of teachers that count the most. Over the coming months we will solicit opinions, engage with teachers and promote any resulting new thinking to bring about positive change in how assessment is used for the benefit of young people.
How long will it take?
The consultation will run from December 2016, with a report published in Spring 2017. The goal is to set out potential ways forward that could improve assessment in England and beyond.
What are the main issues being explored?
Attitudes towards assessment, asking:
a) Are teachers’ negative attitudes towards assessment inevitable, or could this change? If so, how?
b) Why do teachers and parents feel more negatively about some forms of assessment than others? What can we do about this?
c) What explains parents’ belief that their children are not adequately prepared for assessments and tests? How could this be improved?
d) What might be done in the longer term to resolve tensions between the validity, reliability and credibility of assessment?
The purpose of assessment, asking:
e) Could we redress the balance between assessment for learning, assessment for accountability and assessment for qualifications?
The practice of assessment, asking:
f) What should teachers’ role in assessment be?
g) How can we make assessment (particularly formative assessment) more efficient and effective? Can technology help?
h) Whose responsibility is innovation in assessment?
LKMco is an education and youth development ‘think and action tank’ LKMco. We believe society has a duty to ensure children and young people receive the support they need in order to make a fulfilling transition to adulthood. We work towards this vision by helping education and youth organisations develop, evaluate and improve their work with young people. We then carry out academic and policy research and advocacy that is grounded in our experience.