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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr Andrew Davis

Davis, A.J. (2013). How far can we aspire to consistency when assessing learning? Ethics and Education 8(3): 217-228.

Author(s) from Durham


How far can consistent assessment capture all the worthwhile features of educational achievement? Are some important components of learning necessarily open to a range of potentially inconsistent judgments by different assessors? I argue for a cautiously affirmative answer to this question, drawing on analogies with aesthetic judgments and a rehearsal of the holistic characteristics of some assessment criteria. I also employ recent treatments of moral particularism and of concepts of incommensurability to oppose the drive for consistency in assessment required by a high stakes accountability regime.