Outcomes, standards and benchmarks

Blyth, Andrew 2002, Outcomes, standards and benchmarks, Curriculum perspectives (journal edition), vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 13-22.

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Title Outcomes, standards and benchmarks
Author(s) Blyth, Andrew
Journal name Curriculum perspectives (journal edition)
Volume number 22
Issue number 3
Start page 13
End page 22
Publisher Australian Curriculum Studies Association Inc.
Place of publication Deakin West, ACT
Publication date 2002-09
ISSN 0159-7868
Summary The use of outcomes as a tool for curriculum development has considerable currency in Australia. It is widely perceived as representing world's best practice (South Australia Department of Education, Training and Employment, 2000, foreword) and as providing an effective means for quality assurance and enhancement (Willis & Kissane, 1997). At a system level, these assumptions have been unquestioned and unexamined, and curriculum frameworks in all Australian States now consider themselves to be 'outcome-based'. Surprisingly, this results in little similarity between Australian State educational frameworks, and raises the question of what I really understood about the concept of an 'outcome'. This essay explores some definitions of the term and related concepts of 'standards' and 'benchmarks'. The latter terms have less currency in Australia but can be shown to more accurately describe much of what we consider to be outcomes. The issue is not a semantic one, but goes to the very heart of our intentions in specifying learning outcomes. The indiscriminate use of the term 'outcome' has largely devalued it to the point that there is little real understanding and little debate about the efficacy of outcome setting as the primary process in curriculum production in Australia.
Language eng
Field of Research 130299 Curriculum and Pedagogy not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30001438

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