Fairness in educational assessment has become a major talking point and allegations that assessments are unfair are commonplace on social media and in the press. But what does fairness mean in practice and how can we evaluate it? This book offers a timely and necessary investigation, exploring the concept through the lenses of: measurement theory, social justice, the law and philosophy in order to put forward a template for fairness in educational assessment. Drawing on international examples from the UK, US, Australia and South East Asia, this book offers a commentary on fairness that is highly relevant to the changing context of assessment today. This book will be of interest to anyone with a professional or academic interest in educational assessment, to education policymakers and to all who are working to make assessment fair.

Conclusions, challenges and a template for fairness

Conclusions, challenges and a template for fairness

Conclusions, challenges and a template for fairness

‘It is philosophically naïve to assume that fair judgements can only be made if every candidate’s script is judged by precisely the same set of criteria ... It is psychologically naïve to assume … that performance is not profoundly affected by the context of the task being carried out.’ (Cresswell, 2000, pp. 16–17)


In this book, we have looked at fairness in educational assessment through different ‘lenses’, which influence what was seen and how it is perceived and described. The lenses apply insights and approaches from different intellectual and cultural traditions, but we saw how they have influenced each other – concepts from the courts have become enshrined in guidance for ...

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