Gender issues: assessing boys as underachievers

David Spendlove
2001, Vol. 6, No. 3,


This paper identifies the current weaknesses and misuse of national assessments within design and technology in making sophisticated judgements about the success and failure of particular groups. Firstly, there are weaknesses in the accuracy of teachers' assessments. Secondly, there are weaknesses in ensuring consistency between schools. Thirdly, there are weaknesses in the interpretation and delivery of content prior to assessment and finally, there are weaknesses in matching pupil capability with assessment. This paper concludes that damaging judgements against particular groups of pupils based upon existing assessment practices cannot be justified.

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