by John Yandell, Institute of Education
I want to explore five aspects or strands of the way in which we tend to think about assessment.
In calling these strands myths, I am suggesting two things. First, that they are both powerful and deeply embedded in our assumptions about assessment: they have become, in other words, common sense. Second, that they are, in important ways, untrue and unhelpful, obstacles that make it harder for us to arrive at more accurate and adequate understandings of assessment.
I should make it clear, too, that what I mean by assessment here is not formative assessment or assessment for learning, but the regimes of high-stakes, summative assessment that figure so prominently in the landscape of schooling in this country.