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Alternative assessment for learner engagement in a climate of performativity: lessons from an English case study

James, David and Simmons, Jonathan 2007. Alternative assessment for learner engagement in a climate of performativity: lessons from an English case study. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice 14 (3) , pp. 353-371. 10.1080/09695940701592022

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Abstract

In many education systems, young peoples’ ‘disaffection’ is increasingly equated with non‐participation in education, training and employment. There is also an expectation that educational activity can provide a key response to this situation. Drawing upon a case study of a successful development project based in Bristol, England which utilized an ‘alternative’ assessment regime in raising the participation and attainments of young people defined as disengaged from schooling, the paper considers a series of key issues. These include: the nature of the provision; the difficulties of understanding and evaluating it in a climate of performativity; a distinctive concept of learning promoted by the assessment practices; and the role of individual and networked professional mediation in creating the ‘space’ for the initiative. The paper concludes that the case study project represents a ‘marriage of convenience’ between the expectations of a culture of performativity and, on the other hand, a horizontal community of practice which provides a strong professional framework for action, and that there are implications for both practice and policy.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISSN: 0969-594X
Funders: Learning and Skills Council
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 07:59
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/71081

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