Educational assessment for economies, societies and citizens: towards a general theory of educational assessment

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Koomen, Martinus Antonius Joseph (2019) Educational assessment for economies, societies and citizens: towards a general theory of educational assessment. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


This study explores progress narratives in technological, social and personal dimensions and the effect different attitudes towards progress have on educational assessment design and use. By addressing this question this study works towards a general theory for informing design and use of educational assessment so that it better meets the needs of economies, societies and citizens. This study responds to rapid developments in technology that are affecting contemporary educational assessment design and use at a time when theoretical approaches are unable to frame these developments. It works towards identifying and exploring tensions emerging from different attitudes to progress, and how these attitudes inform contemporary educational assessment design. This study engages with progress narratives through reconstructions of historical materialism associated with socialism (Marx & Engels, 1846/2000) and creativedestruction associated with capitalism (Schumpeter, 1942/2008). These formulations of progress narratives are explored through the work of Habermas (1981/1985, 1981/1992) and his use immanent critique (Antonio, 1981; Stahl, 2013). This sociological framing allows the effects of technological progress on educational assessment to be explored through its relationship with economies, societies, and citizens. This study uses immanent critique and rational reconstruction to reconceptualise educational assessment for a contemporary context by coherently linking theories from sociology and educational assessment. Emphasis is given to educational assessment as symbolic media, through which several legitimation tensions are identified that are not currently addressed in educational assessment validation. These legitimation tensions have implications for educational assessment design as well as for education system management more generally.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Current > Division/Research > College of Arts and Education
Keywords educational assessment; educational assessment design; technology; progress narratives; historical materialism; creative-destruction; Habermas; sociology; Victoria; Australia
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