VA: The Future and Promises of International Assessment (15.09.16 - 16.09.16)


This seminar is the final, culminating seminar of a seminar series on ‘The Potentials, Politics and Practices of International Educational Assessment’. The seminar series is co-funded by the British Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). In the last two decades, international large-scale assessments (LSAs) have transformed the field of education on a global level in a variety of ways, impacting on education governance, policy, practice and research. During these two decades, LSAs have vastly extended their scope and degree of sophistication. At the same time, a considerable body of scholarly research has been focusing on the work of international organisations (IOs) and testing agencies in the field of comparative testing but also on the impact of this global political project on education. Operating as a new form of trans-national governance, international assessment data offer powerful comparative insights into the performance of educational systems. However, there remain many areas of critique, complexity and debate: the transparency and accountability of assessment regimes, the challenges of cross-cultural assessment, the validity of psychometric models and theory, and implications for policy and practice. The principal aim of this seminar is to draw together and discuss the main issues and concerns that have emerged from the previous five seminars in the series; explore promising new initiatives that are being piloted; and to articulate a consolidated program for future interdisciplinary enquiry. Bringing together the foremost experts in the field to form an inter-disciplinary panel, the seminar creates an opportunity for rigorous and in-depth debate on international education assessment methodology and key educational policy and practice issues surrounding international testing, in order to create new critical perspectives on their role in education policy and practice, and in particular to discuss and collaborate on the futures and promises of international assessment. By bringing together international scholars, practitioners and end users (i.e. policy makers) of international education assessment programmes, the event creates a unique international space for dialogue, networking and collaboration amongst experts who are rarely, if ever, brought together to discuss what they engage with on a daily basis but in very different ways given their institutional backgrounds, disciplinary training and experience. The seminar aims to raise new epistemological, ontological and moral ethical questions, and reflections on promising approaches to international education assessments and new experiments for practitioners, scholars and end users to take forward how we might make ‘better numbers’ for educational policy, practice and research. This seminar therefore supports the aims of the seminar series to: • Act as a vehicle for academic enquiry into the potentials, politics and practices and impacts of international educational assessments. • Develop a thematic agenda for international assessment studies as an important new field of academic research and publication. • Build a sustainable and robust international network of academics and practitioners around a set of common interests and concerns. Being the final seminar of the series, this event aims to strengthen and consolidate the dialogues, collaborations and the networking that have been developed in the first five seminars.


Principal Investigators
Waldow, Florian Prof. Dr. phil. (Details) (Comparative and International Education)
Addey, Camilla Dr. (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Gorur, Radhika Dr. (Deakin University, Melbourne)

Participating external organizations

Duration of Project
Start date: 09/2016
End date: 09/2016

Research Areas
Educational Research

Research Areas
Geisteswissenschaften

Last updated on 2020-17-11 at 10:56