Introduction: Curriculum, Learning and Assessment

  • David Scott
Part of the Evaluating Education: Normative Systems and Institutional Practices book series (ENSIP)


Governments round the world at the end of the twentieth century and in the early part of the twenty-first century, with a few notable exceptions, have reached an agreement about the nature of the school curriculum, learning approaches and assessment practices. This consensus now operates at all levels of the education system, and can be expressed in terms of a number of propositions: traditional knowledge forms and strong insulations between them need to be preserved; each of these knowledge forms can be expressed in terms of lower and higher level domains and the latter have to be taught before the former and sequenced correctly; certain groups of children are better able to access the curriculum than other children, and, as a result, a differentiated curriculum is necessary to meet the needs of all school learners; the teacher’s role is to impart this body of knowledge in the most effective way, and thus their brief cannot concern itself with the ends to which education is directed, but only the means for its efficient delivery; and the school’s role is to deliver a public service that meets the targets set for it by governments. This introductory chapter aims to make, or at least begin the process of making, sense of the central concepts, drawing boundaries round them, and framing the concepts and the relations between them, so that they can be used, modified and related to other concepts and ideas. To this end, this introduction will provide a brief account of the main ideas that concern us in the book.


Assessment Practice Workplace Learning Summative Assessment Curriculum Standard Epistemic Realism 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Scott
    • 1
  1. 1.Curriculum, Pedagogy & AssessmentUniversity College London Institute of EducationLondonUK

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