Title Expert questions the relevance of the current high stakes, high stress year 12 exams in today’s Victoria. Degree of recognition National Media name/outlet MCERA Media type Web Country/Territory Australia Date 27/10/17 Description The Year 12 examinations across Australia are a form of high stakes assessment that is summative in nature as they are primarily used to provide a students' academic achievement level in comparison to his or her peers. These examinations are typical of high stake assessments that have been a key part of many education systems around the world. But in the context of 21st century education reforms, such as the Australian Curriculum, that aim to develop capacities and skills for life and citizenship in the 21st century, such assessments are an anachronism. For instance, assessment modes such as multiple choice questions and essays continue to be used like they have been since the last century when the world was a radically different place from what it is today.
Today’s education emphasises the development of 21st century skills and capacities. These include critical and creative thinking; intercultural understanding; and collaboration skills – all considered to be essential today. However, high stakes assessments, such as Year 12 Examinations, continue to largely focus and assess scholastic knowledge, and under artificial timed conditions too.
Perhaps, it is high time to challenge the relevance of such high stakes assessment and to rethink and revolutionise assessment that is more in keeping with 21st century education. Most would agree that education today is about the preparation for life in the 21st century world. Yet, we continue to retain outmoded assessment structures that are increasingly out of sync not only with young peoples’ lives, but also the demands of the world today.
Persons Akshir Ab Kadir