Past TimesEd

75 years ago September 10, 1927

The discussion on school examinations (at the British Association) was noteworthy in demonstrating the chastened humility of the examiner. Dr. Ballard's introduction that an examination should be fair to the examinees, be an objective measurement, and have no harmful effects on the teaching of the school, received adequate comment from later speakers in the many admissions that examinations are notoriously unfair, that they are still largely subjective, and that they profoundly disturb the teaching. Mr. B.C. Wallis admitted that examiners cannot maintain a standard from year to year, and that we do not yet know what it is in the child that we are examining. Mr. J.H. Arnold showed from the statistics of the first school examination that there are great variations in the standard from year to year, and that different examining bodies have different standards.

50 years ago September 12, 1952

The G.C.E. is working out as a compromise between modern theory of examinations, with its emphasis on their baleful influence, and the interests which made one use or another of the school and higher certificates - universities, professional bodies, employers, parents, and not least the holders. The universities by rightly insisting that they shall determine their own entrance requirements have vastly complicated the arrangement of fifth and sixth-form studies, and have, at least in the smaller schools, effectively abolished that "freedom" the new examination was supposed to bestow.

25 years ago September 16, 1977

No edition due to "recent difficulties in the composing and reading areas at New Printing House Square".

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