The demise of exams: Can teacher assessments accurately reflect student ability?

Study International | May 14, 2019

In many instances worldwide, students are required to sit compulsory standardised exams to measure what they’ve learnt in school. However, the results of a recent UK study calls that into question.The study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, found that teacher assessments accurately reflect students’ future exam performance in English, maths and science, as well as A-levels and university admission. Researchers said: “Teacher assessments of achievement are as reliable, stable and heritable as test scores at every stage of the educational experience.”Their study involved over 5,000 twin pairs studied longitudinally from childhood to young adulthood (age 7 to 18).“We used teacher assessment and exam performance across development to investigate, using genetically sensitive designs, the associations between teacher assessment and standardised exam scores, as well as teacher assessments’ prediction of exam scores at ages 16 and 18, and university enrolment,” said the authors.They concluded: “Teachers can reliably and validly monitor students’ progress, abilities and inclinations. High‐stakes exams may shift educational experience away from learning towards exam performance. For these reasons, we suggest that teacher assessments could replace some, or all, high‐stakes exams.”

Spotlight

This class is taught by Corey Bess and Matthew Evans in the Educational Innovation Certificate program at the University of San Diego.

Spotlight

This class is taught by Corey Bess and Matthew Evans in the Educational Innovation Certificate program at the University of San Diego.

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