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The Role of Teachers in the Assessment of Learning


"When the results of tests and examinations are used to pass judgments on teachers and schools, they also affect the ways in which pupils are taught. Given their importance, it is essential that results of summative assessment should reflect and influence school learning in the best possible way. This pamphlet considers how to arrive at a comprehensive summative assessment system capable of providing information, based on sound evidence, about a wide range of pupil competences. Available research evidence leads to the conclusion that systems relying heavily on tests results are found wanting in several respects, particularly in their ability to give a dependable, that is, both valid and reliable, account of pupils' learning. It is argued that the negative consequences of summative assessment for learning and teaching can be minimised by more appropriate use of teachers' judgements. At the same time it is acknowledged that a number of issues need to be addressed in implementing a system making use of teachers' assessment. ...Implications for those responsible for making assessment policy and for those responsible for implementing it are drawn out."