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Research report

Curriculum and assessment

Liz Slater

This review deals with the structure and contents of the curriculum; curriculum delivery; the relationship between school structures and the curriculum on offer ('study pathways'); and teaching (pedagogy).

The review also deals with assessment. The section on assessment discusses the purposes of assessment (whether formative and/or summative), its timing and methods, as well as the roles and responsibilities of those involved. Decisions about approaches to the curriculum and assessment are closely linked to how many teachers there are, their knowledge and skills, the resources available and quality assurance.

A number of key questions are tackled in this review:

  • Why are governments interested in the curriculum and assessment? What are the drivers for change?
  • Why and how have successful and improving education systems changed the duration and structure of schooling alongside curriculum reform?
  • What part do teachers' capabilities play in the design and implementation of changes to the curriculum and assessment?
  • How much autonomy do schools and teachers have in designing their curricula?