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School of Education

Research Seminars

Research Seminar: Dr. Florian Waldow, University of Meunster, Germany

23rd November 2011, 13:00, School of Education, Room ED134

Different worlds of meritocracy? Educational assessment and conceptions of justice in Germany, Sweden and England in the age of 'standards-based reform'

As a key mechanism in the allocation of life chances, educational assessment has to conform to principles of distributive and procedural justice in order to be considered legitimate. These normative conceptions underlie the institutional structure of pupil assessment. However, what is considered just and legitimate assessment in education and which consequences assessment is to have is highly dependent on culture-, area- and actor-specific patterns of interpretation.

The project will investigate the conceptions of distributive and procedural justice underlying the institutional structure of
educational assessment in Germany, Sweden and England. The project will also investigate how these conceptions are woven into their specific contextual and historic environment. The project will look for national variations, but also for variation within national contexts.

One specific area of interest of the project is the impact of 'standards-based reform'. All three countries studied have been affected by the international policy-wave of 'standards-based reform', albeit at different times. In all three cases, the
introduction of 'standards-based education' has had a massive impact on the institutional structure of assessment.

Contact sheena.smith@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.