Rethinking assessment in education:

The case for change

By Bill Lucas

"Our young people require all of us working in education to establish greater clarity about the uses of assessment in education, linked to a greater understanding of the science of assessment"

Author – Bill Lucas

About the PAPER.

The author argues that in our current approaches to assessment we are ‘using the wrong kinds of nets’, especially if we are wanting to ‘catch’ young people’s strengths. He discusses issues with the content of school curricula; models of a more global curriculum and lifelong learning; the roles of skills and competencies in learning; and related problems with educational assessment. He revisits the purposes of assessment, explores promising practices from around the world and provides examples of both visible progress and emerging new directions in assessment. He concludes that we need urgently to develop and implement more nuanced, strengths-based, multimodal descriptions of what young people achieve.

About the author.

Bill Lucas
Bill Lucas is Professor of Learning and Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning at the University of Winchester in the UK. Bill is a co-founder of Rethinking Assessment, a coalition of education leaders, employers, researchers and policy makers looking to reform assessment in England.

In 2017 Bill was appointed to chair the strategic advisory group for the PISA 2021 test of Creative Thinking, which draws on the five-dimensional model for creativity that he developed with colleagues in Winchester. In 2019 the OECD published the results of a four-year, eleven-country study into the teaching and assessing of creativity, also stimulated by Bill’s research. In the same year Bill co-authored the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education’s first report.

Bill advises the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority in Australia on the assessment of critical and creative thinking, and has worked extensively across Australia over the past eight years with a focus on critical and creative thinking. In 2018 his report for the Mitchell Institute, Capable Country: Cultivating Capabilities in Australian Education, suggested a route map for Australia to make the general capabilities a reality in all states.

Bill is a prolific writer and has authored more than eighty books and many research reports. His latest books, written with Ellen Spencer, are Zest for Learning: Developing Curious Learners who Relish Real-World Challenges and Teaching Creative Thinking: Developing Learners who Can Generate Ideas and Think Critically. His acclaimed critique in 2015 of the education system in England, Educating Ruby: What Our Children Really Need to Learn, written with Guy Claxton, asks challenging questions about the future direction of schools.

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