Tests as boundary signifiers: level 6 tests and the primary secondary divide

COLDWELL, Michael and WILLIS, Benjamin (2017). Tests as boundary signifiers: level 6 tests and the primary secondary divide. The Curriculum Journal, 28 (4), 578-597.

[img]
Preview
PDF
Coldwell - tests and boundary signifiers (AM).pdf - Accepted Version
All rights reserved.

Download (149kB) | Preview
Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/095851...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1080/09585176.2017.1330220
Related URLs:

    Abstract

    This paper addresses the question: How do teachers and school leaders respond to high stakes testing of pupils transitioning from primary to secondary school? It explores how a new test, the Level 6 test, operated with regard to primary/secondary school relationships in England. It draws on an analysis of qualitative interviews with teachers and school leaders in 20 primary schools that took part in the test, 40 school leaders that chose not to and 20 secondary-school leaders. Theoretical work on social boundaries is utilised to develop an argument that this test and its results acted as a boundary signifier, crystallising many of the tensions between primary and secondary schools. These tensions included the role of accountability regimes in requiring schools to demonstrate progress; narrowing of the curriculum and teaching to the test; and the extent to which test results can provide a true representation of pupil attainment. We conclude by suggesting the potential of the boundary signifier concept in relation to other tests at the primary/secondary boundary and other key transition points in education, and consider whether such tests can act as an ideal boundary object, serving to help overcome, rather than cement, barriers between schools.

    Item Type: Article
    Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Institute of Education
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/09585176.2017.1330220
    Page Range: 578-597
    Depositing User: Carmel House
    Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2017 11:04
    Last Modified: 23 Jun 2020 22:16
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15913

    Actions (login required)

    View Item View Item

    Downloads

    Downloads per month over past year

    View more statistics