Assessment and evaluation are crucial aspects of any educational system and rarely can they have been so central to educational policy-making and the reform of schooling as at the present time. (The introduction of the National Curriculum and Testing system in the UK and the test-based 'No Child Left Behind' legislation in the USA are but two high-profile examples.) Assessment processes interact with curriculum and teaching methods to frame the student experience of education, and the outcomes of assessment are crucially important in determining individual educational progression and socio-economic futures. Equally, assessment is used by policy-makers to focus instruction on core elements of educational provision, and the aggregate outcomes of assessment are employed to measure the quality and effectiveness of an educational system. Good quality assessment is vital to individual student life-chances and to issues of parental choice, school reputation, government policy evaluation, and long-term economic development.
Poor quality assessment can disrupt all of these elements of an effective school system by, for example, narrowing what is taught and learned to only the limited range of skills and abilities examined through paper-and-pencil tests. As serious thinking about and around assessment and evaluation continues to flourish and develop, this new title in Routledge's Major Themes in Education series meets the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of the subject's vast literature and the continuing explosion in research output. Edited by Harry Torrance, a leading scholar in the field, this Routledge Major Work is a four-volume collection of foundational and cutting-edge contributions. With comprehensive introductions to each volume, newly written by the editor, which place the collected material in its historical and intellectual context, Educational Assessment and Evaluation is an essential work of reference. It is destined to be valued by specialists in assessment and evaluation and scholars working in related areas-as well as by educational policy-makers and professionals-as a vital one-stop research tool.