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Exams tested by Covid-19: An opportunity to rethink standardized senior secondary examinations

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-10-01, 00:00 authored by Rebecca CairnsRebecca Cairns
The global Covid-19 pandemic is testing the responsiveness of school systems. Extensive discourse about disruptions to the standardized examinations students take in their final year of secondary school is symbolic of their high-stakes status worldwide. The interruptions provide an opportune moment to question the efficacy of exams as a measurement of achievement. To explore these issues, this article shares some on-the-ground illustrations from Australian teachers about how high-stakes exams shape their enactment of senior secondary history curriculum. The presence of a discourse of exam alignment, which places a disproportionate emphasis on preparing students for exams, has implications for teachers’ curricular practices and wider equity issues. These issues resonate in other international settings, especially during the pandemic. The severity of the Covid-19 economic downturn means it is more important than ever to investigate the relationship between curricular practices and socio-economic structures, to ensure examinations do not compound educational disadvantage.

History

Journal

Prospects

Location

Dordrecht, The Netherlands

Open access

  • Yes

ISSN

0033-1538

eISSN

1573-9090

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2020, UNESCO IBE

Publisher

Springer Netherlands