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Just how closely should textbooks link to public examinations?

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There is considerable controversy in the English educational system over the relationship between textbooks and public examinations. Some commentators have criticised strongly the existence of ANY kind of structured relationship between the two. This flies in the face of international evidence on the way in which systems in other jurisdictions have effected improvement. The positioning of textbooks in overall educational policy is a critical part of system management in Singapore, Hong Kong, Finland, and Alberta, amongst others. Congruence of textbooks and assessment is one aspect of Schmidt’s concepts of ‘curriculum coherence’ and ‘curriculum control’. Tim’s presentation will take a look at the international evidence and suggest that while questions might be raised about the quality of textbooks and the precise form of the relationship between these and examinations, the development and maintenance of an effective relation is critical to the functioning of a high quality education system. Dr Mary Bousted will respond to Tim’s arguments.

This talk is part of the Current Issues in Assessment series.

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