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Footprints in the secret garden – Awarding Bodies’ engagement with the curriculum

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To what extent should awarding bodies be concerned about curriculum matters? If qualifications increasingly are seen as a means of controlling and influencing the quality of education and training, it is timely to ask what kind of engagement awarding bodies should have with programme content, learning processes and other curriculum issues. Is maintaining a distance between assessment and learning healthy and appropriate or should there be greater articulation between the two? Should awarding bodies limit themselves to understanding the impact of assessment and moderating negative ‘washback effects’ or actively manage a tighter relationship between qualifications and curriculum matters? Should the relationship be determined solely by a technical concern to ensure coherence between assessment and learning or is there a moral component associated with educational attainment and progression? The presentation will argue that awarding bodies stand in a complex relation with curriculum matters and occupy a crucial position in the system – one which is capable of mediating strongly competing interests and pressures.

This talk is part of the Perspectives from Cambridge Assessment series.

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