Assessment and the curriculum

14th October 2005 at 01:00
As the specialist groups delve deeper into the nitty-gritty of what should go and what should stay in the Scottish curriculum of the future, a common thread is emerging. The need to reconsider how teachers assess their pupils' learning, and how that affects the content of the curriculum, is developing a momentum of its own.

Today we see that the Association for Science Education Scotland believes that "the high stakes examination system acts as the single greatest impediment to progress, change and innovation in teaching and learning"

(page five). A move away from a factually based curriculum that is easily assessed to a curriculum that prompts young people to enquire about the "big ideas" of science will mean a seismic shift in teaching practice.

Elsewhere, (page six) we see evidence that the expressive arts lack currency in the school curriculum because they are more difficult to measure than other subjects.

If A Curriculum for Excellence is to achieve its stated aims of producing successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors, then society at large, not just the education community, will have to adjust its set of values regarding what is considered worthy and what is not.

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