CIE Research Café. In Retrospect: Reflections on experience by Tony Somerset

Date: 18 May 2022
Time: 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Event Type: Seminar

Wednesday 18 May, 1-2.30pm

Room 103, Fulton Building, University of Sussex + Zoom

In this session, Tony looks back over nearly six decades as a research worker in Education and Development – with a focus on selection, assessment and examinations – and reflects on what he has learned. He will outline four projects specifically; two in East Africa and two in South East Asia. The two East African projects concerned selection for entry to secondary school. The two South East Asian projects were more disparate. In Indonesia, the focus was on enabling upper primary teachers to employ formative testing to identify, and subsequently remedy, the misconceptions which were preventing many of their students from acquiring mastery of key number concepts, including decimal place value, metric measures, and fractional notation. The Philippines project addressed a major local concern: severe disparities in the provision of teachers – both primary and secondary – among the districts and schools.

Tony will go on to reflect on two closely related issues which have concerned him throughout his working career: The legitimacy of the role of outsiders – such as himself – being participants in the solution of a country’s problems without prior knowledge of the local education system, and the legitimacy of powerful international institutions – such as the World Bank – being actors in the solution of local educational problems.