Educational standards have figured prominently in recent debates over educational policy all over the world. This is the first time that such a distinguished collection of scholars have come together in the UK to discuss different perspectives on this issue. Two abiding themes emerge from these contributions to the debate. The first is that the very notion of a `standard' has to be viewed in its historical and social context. Different countries have widely varying views of what constitutes a `standard' and how necessary such a concept is for the adequate functioning of their educational systems. And, secondly, it is difficult, if not impossible, to arrive at an `objective' definition of educational standards. Policies based upon comparisons of examinations, tests, or other devices should therefore be seen for what they really are human judgements which, however conscientiously pursued, are ultimately subjective and influenced by culture, personality, and general perceptions of the external world.
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Educational Standards in Historical Perspective
The Role of Public Examinations in Defining and Monitoring
The Measurement of Standards
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