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National Testing. Past, Present and Future

  • ID: 2246570
  • Book
  • January 1999
  • 206 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Open any newspaper today and there will almost certainly be an article relating to standards of literacy and numeracy in schools, school league tables, the National Curriculum and national testing. What is national testing for? How did the present system develop? What is the nature of the tests and how are children assessed at the three Key Stages of 7, 11 and 14?

This authoritative and thought–provoking book draws on the author s extensive experience of both developing and evaluating the national tests and provides an insightful discussions on the implications of testing in England. Parallels are drawn between the curriculum in England and Wales, and those in Scotland and Northern Ireland to provide interesting points of comparison and contrast.
The book begins by outlining the origins and key characteristics of national testing, identifying its strengths and weaknesses, and charting recent developments and current issues. Technical and statistical information on statutory tests is provided along with examples of test questions and activities. Other important topics covered include:

the major influences on the structure and development of national tests.

assessment and testing of children at the three Key Stages.

the findings of the Dearing review.

the validity and reliability of the tests.

With the benefit of hindsight, the author asks: Would we do things differently the second time around? How could the system be developed and changed in the future? What can others learn from our experience?
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List of Tables and Figures.


Series Preface: Issues in Assessment and Testing.


1. The Origins of the National Tests.

2. Influences on the Structure of the National Tests.

3. The Development of the Tasks and Tests: Background and Summary.

4. Developing the Tasks and Tests: Some Technical Issues.

5. The Tests at Key Stage 1: The Storm and the Calm.

6. The Tests at Key Stage 2: High Profile Testing.

7. The Tests at Key Stage 3: Controversy and and Change.

8. Some Conclusions: Purposes, Ideals and Realities.

Glossary of Acronyms.



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Diane Shorrocks–Taylor
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