Beyond education by ranking – let’s not return to ‘normal’

FORUM - ISSN 0963-8253
Volume 63 Number 2 (2021)

Beyond education by ranking – let’s not return to ‘normal’
Phil Taylor, pages 9-19
DOI: 10.3898/forum.2021.63.2.02

Abstract

The cancellation of public examinations in England during the coronavirus pandemic drew attention to a long-standing educational concern. Grading and ranking students, in various ways, has taken place for many years, but in summer 2020 this process was shared between teachers and, initially, an ‘algorithm’. Maintaining standards and consistent grade distributions is a feature of the exam system in ‘normal’ times. This article considers why exam grades are (roughly) normally distributed, tracing origins of bell-curve thinking, to suggest that we should not be returning to this kind of ‘normal’.

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To cite this article
Phil Taylor (2021) Beyond education by ranking – let’s not return to ‘normal’, FORUM, 63(2), 9-19

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