The Case for Examinations - An Account of Their Place in Education with Some Proposals for Their Reform J. L. Brereton

ISBN: 9781406757156

Published: March 1st 2007

Paperback

232 pages


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The Case for Examinations - An Account of Their Place in Education with Some Proposals for Their Reform  by  J. L. Brereton

The Case for Examinations - An Account of Their Place in Education with Some Proposals for Their Reform by J. L. Brereton
March 1st 2007 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, RTF | 232 pages | ISBN: 9781406757156 | 3.72 Mb

Text extracted from opening pages of book: FOR AN ACCOUNT OF THEIR PLAC%- fr EDUCATION WITH SOME PROPOSALS FOR: THlR REFORM by J. L. BRERETON, M. A. Assistant Secretary, University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate CAMBRIDGE AT THEMoreText extracted from opening pages of book: FOR AN ACCOUNT OF THEIR PLAC%- fr EDUCATION WITH SOME PROPOSALS FOR: THlR REFORM by J. L. BRERETON, M. A. Assistant Secretary, University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate CAMBRIDGE AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS THE PURPOSE of i& igf book is to show that examinations are an essential part of the machinery of education- that is, the machinery for training children and adults to use their minds and bodies in new ways.

It is advisable to state this at the outset, because many people now regard them merely as a necessary evil. The most individual systems of education lay upon the teacher the obligation to stimulate and direct the interest of his pupils, so that they apply themselves to their work in the knowledge that it will bear fruit later.

Unless modern mass education includes a means of stimulating teachers and students to effort, and of directing and co-ordinating that effort to suit the needs of a rapidly changing and developing society, the money spent on schools, textbooks, and salaries will be wasted. The e joint examinations which I see arising out of the old * external examinations 3 have a vital part to play in solving these problems, for they can achieve the desired ends and yet allow scope for individual freedom and initiative.

The examinations with which we are concerned in this book are, by their very nature, linked with the course of study leading up to them and with the subsequent activity available to the successful student. They differ in this respect from intelligence and aptitude tests like those now being used for army recruits.

These are intended to provide a means of classifying people according to their abilitiesin certain directions. They often open doors to further activity, but they have no concern with a previous course of preparation, and, in fact, presuppose that there has been no such course. I do not wish to assert that examinations are the only means of stimulating and guiding the interests of boys and girls within a complex educational system. But no competent observer will deny that examinations are now woven into the fabric of English education and play an intimate part in holding it together.

Part I of this book will describe how this has come PREFACE vli **, about, and help to explain why our present examinations are warping as well as strengthfemag && febrid r /: Changes in the organisation and control of school examina tions are overdue, and, when made, will exercise a profound influence on the whole of education.

Part JFwill describe the alterations which appear to the author to be indicated as a result of the analysis in Part I. 1 The book omits much of the technique and theory of examinations. Such subjects as the validity of tests, the standardisation of marks, the fallibility of examiners, the setting and moderating of question papers, etc., are barely touched upon- not because they are unimportant, but because they have been dealt with by other writers.

As war conditions leave the day-to-day administrator little time for writing, I have con centrated on those aspects of the subject that seem to me to have been neglected, or to be of particular importance at the present time. Instead of attempting a direct answer to some of the many critics of our present examinations, I have tried to indicate a broader view of the whole subject in the light of which some of thesecriticisms may need to be reassessed. The book is written from the point of view of one who has been concerned for sixteen years with the examinations of a single University Examining Body, and mainly with the science side of that work.

My examples are naturally drawn from the examinations about which I know most, but I think the principles deduced will be found to be general. Had I been concerned with London University, I might have had more to say about London Inter mediate and less about the Cambridge Scholarship Examina tions, but I think the conclusions woul



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