A new, open-access book was launched at the British Educational Research Association conference this week, on the state of teach education.
Professor Jo-Anne Baird‘s chapter, on policy negotations in initial teacher education addresses what is at stake, why teacher education matters and how the education sector in England tried to influence teacher education policy to build on the research evidence. Only days after its launch, the book has had hundreds of downloads.
The education system is not the same as before the pandemic. We need policies that address the current situation if we are to improve standards. Professor Jo-Anne Baird (Director of the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment) speaks to The Today programme.
Jamie Stiff and colleagues have looked at the 221 academic publications on the Progress in International Reading Study, the world’s largest reading assessment. They found that:
- Most articles used PIRLS data for secondary data analysis.
- Research related to attainment gaps has increased since 2015.
- 20% of articles were critiques of PIRLS constructs and/or procedures.
- PIRLS remains underutilised for researching reading literacy.
The full article can be found here:
Stiff, J., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T.N., Kayton, H. and McGrane, J.A. (2023) Research engagement in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study: A systematic review. Educational Research Review, 40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2023.100547
INTRODUCING STANDARDISED TESTING INTO THE FLANDERS EDUCATION SYSTEM
The Flemish Community of Belgium has been a stronger performer on international tests, however, performance has been deteriorating and more students are failing to reach basic proficiency levels than before. In response, a series of reforms have been initiated including the introduction of standardised tests, initially in Dutch and mathematics, to evaluate student, school and national performance. Michelle Meadows worked with Marco Kools, Inés Sanguino Martínez and Claire Shrewbridge from the OECD Implementing Education Policies team and Professor Inge de Wolf from Maastricht University to support the successful design and implementation of the tests.
The report presents the analysis, key findings and recommendations including the need to clarify the main purpose of the tests. As the current policy gives equal weight to the use of the data at system, school, classroom and student level, the tests may not meet all the expectations for their intended use. For example, the design decisions taken so far best support system level monitoring of student performance rather than the use of test data by teachers to improve their pedagogical practice.
The Review, led by Professor Louise Hayward recommended
- Scottish Diploma of Achievement comprising Programmes of Learning, Project Learning and the Personal Pathway.
- Removal of external examinations in fourth year
- A national strategy for standards
- A cross-sector Commission on Artificial Intelligence
- Cultural change processes, including professional development for teachers
Dr Lena Gray (Qualifications and Assessment Consultant/Researcher) • Emeritus Professor Jenny Ozga (University of Oxford, Department of Education) • Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Southern Cross University, Education) • Emeritus Professor Dylan William (University of London, Assessment) • Professor Ewart Keep (University of Oxford, Education, Training and Skills) • Professor Anne Looney (Dublin City University, Executive Dean of the Institute of Education)
Some news coverage and reactions:
7 key messages as Hayward report on assessment unveiled, TES magazine
Stuart is a Departmental Lecturer in Educational Assessment at the Department of Education.
Stuart has a PhD in Education from the University of Warwick. His research interests cover many aspects of educational assessment, including examination standards, the assessment of practical skills, the use of assistive technology for assessment, and the digitisation of assessment.
Prior to January 2022, Stuart was Associate Director for Research at Ofqual, where he helped lead a research programme to support the regulation of examinations and qualifications in England. He has held senior research roles both at Ofqual and at an examination board.
He, Q. & Cadwallader, S.M. (2022). An investigation of inter-subject comparability in GCSEs and A levels in summer 2021. Ofqual. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/an-investigation-of-inter-subject-comparability-in-gcses-and-a-levels-in-summer-2021
Holmes, S., Brylka, A., Case, N., Clarke, L., Howard, E., Keys, E., Tonin D. Cadwallader S.M. (2022). Teacher Assessed Grades in summer 2021: Interviews. Ofqual. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teacher-assessed-grades-in-summer-2022-interviews-and-surveys
Cadwallader, S. M. & Tonin, D. (2021). The use of assistive technologies for assessment. Ofqual. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-use-of-assistive-technologies-for-assessment/the-use-of-assistive-technologies-for-assessment
Lockyer, C. & Cadwallader, S.M. (2020). Internal assessment in existing national technical and vocational qualifications. Ofqual. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/863758/Internal_assessment_in_existing_national_technical_and_vocational_qualifications.pdf
Cadwallader, S. M. (2019). The impact of qualification reform on A level science practical work. Paper 5: Final report on the pre- and post-reform evaluation of science practical skills. Ofqual. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/the-impact-of-qualification-reform-on-alevel-science-practical-work
Cadwallader, S. M. (2018). The impact of qualification reform on A level science practical work. Paper 4: An analysis of the functioning of items that indirectly assess A level science practical skills. Ofqual. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/the-impact-of-qualification-reform-on-alevel-science-practical-work
Cadwallader, S. M., Cuff, B. M. P & Khan, A. (2018). The impact of qualification reform on A level science practical work. Paper 3: Valid discrimination in the assessment of practical performance. Ofqual. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/the-impact-of-qualification-reform-on-alevel-science-practical-work
Cadwallader, S. (2018). The impact of qualification reform on A level science practical work. Paper 2: Pre- and post-reform evaluation of science practical skills. Ofqual. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/the-impact-of-qualification-reform-on-alevel-science-practical-work
Cadwallader, S. M. & Clinckemaillie, L. (2017). The impact of qualification reform on A level science practical work. Paper 1: Teacher perspectives after one year. Ofqual. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/the-impact-of-qualification-reform-on-alevel-science-practical-work
Cadwallader, S. M. (2014). Developing grade descriptions for the new GCSEs: considerations and challenges. Manchester: AQA Centre for Education Research and Practice. https://www.aqa.org.uk/about-us/our-research/research-library/paper?path=developing-grade-descriptions-new-gcses-considerations-and-challenges
Cadwallader, S. M. & Tremain, K. (2013). How policy formation and implementation interacts with risks to high stakes qualifications. Manchester: AQA Centre for Education Research and Practice. https://www.aqa.org.uk/about-us/our-research/research-library/paper?path=how-policy-formation-and-implementation-interacts-risks-high-stakes-qualifications
The assessment of behaviours in apprenticeship end point assessments. Tonin, D., Clarke, L. & Cadwallader, S.M. Association for Educational Assessment (AEA Europe) conference, Dublin (2022).
The use of remote invigilation – awarding organisation views on its introduction and impact. Cadwallader, S. M & Tonin, D. Association for Educational Assessment (AEA Europe) conference, online (2021).
Evaluating the impact of A level qualification reform on science practical skills. Cadwallader, S. M. Association for Educational Assessment (AEA Europe) conference, Lisbon (2019).
Valid discrimination in the assessment of practical skills. Cadwallader, S. M. Association for Educational Assessment (AEA Europe) conference, Prague (2017).
What is the meaning of a grade? Developing grade descriptors that are fit for purpose. Cadwallader, discussion group chaired at: Association for Educational Assessment (AEA Europe) conference, Tallinn (2014).
What should be keeping us up at night? Perspectives on the key threats to the general qualification system. Meadows, M.L. & Cadwallader, S.M. Cambridge Assessment Conference – Examining Risk, Cambridge (2012).
The Implicit Theories of Intelligence of Gifted and Talented Adolescents and how they Relate to Academic Goals and Achievement. Cadwallader, S. M. British Educational Research Association conference, Edinburgh (2008).
With a different set of purposes, GCSEs could be designed differently.
30 March 2023
Witness(es): Dr Michelle Meadows, Associate Professor of Educational Assessment, Department for Education, University of Oxford; Gavin Busuttil-Reynaud, Director of Operations, AlphaPlus; Sharon Hague, Senior Vice-President, Pearson School Qualifications; Tim Oates CBE, Group Director of Assessment Research and Development, Cambridge Assessment
View the full session here:
Dr Michelle Meadows was second-in-command at Ofqual during the 2020 exams fiasco, a grading disaster that will echo in schools for years to come. She reveals to Samantha Booth what happened behind closed doors.